In this groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in deciding the life of the nation, Westen looks at data across several presidential ...Show synopsisIn this groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in deciding the life of the nation, Westen looks at data across several presidential elections, examines the evidence of emotion in driving voting behavior, and provides a clinical view of various campaigns.Hide synopsis
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The Political Brain discusses a great deal of psychological research that helps explain why people in the United States mostly vote for the either the Democratic or Republican parties and what qualities in how they deliver their platforms are more likely to appeal to those undecided voters in the middle who tend, after all, to win or lose elections. Dr. Westen discusses the types of narratives in speeches of political leaders that most appeal to the electorate, and also the role of emotions in courting political preferences. In reading this book, one cannot help but feel that this is groundbreaking psychological research at a midpoint, awaiting other psychological researchers to advance the implications to a deeper level. For example, if support for the big parties rests largely on the way they appeal to certain values that are central to human psychology, then what are the broader implications of this research beyond two-party politics? What do these scientific discoveries of a psychological nature mean in terms of the potential for humans to transcend politics as usual, in other words the big parties, to achieve a less corrupt, violent, stressful, economically insecure and ecologically unsustainable world? Can this absolutely ground-breaking research, in other words, help the world as a whole and not just support the existing status quo? This book does not explore the deeper implications of the research, perhaps as it was admittedly fueled by a desire to better serve the Democratic Party which the author is a staunch supporter of, but it certainly does a masterful job of explaining at least why the existing political parties tend to succeed or fail at election times. A book highly worth reading for anyone interested in psychology, politics , science, or simply concerned for the future.
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