Attack in Nice: the role of emotions in political decisions

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Marketing professionals have understood for decades the role of emotions in the purchasing act. The packaging, the name, the colors: nothing is left aside for the product to match the emotions sought by the buyer: superiority, refinement, compassion, etc.

In public affairs, emotions remain a taboo which we are just beginning to get rid of. We must get rid of it, however, since these emotions generate opinions in public, then dictate the behavior of our decision-makers. Political decisions then contribute to consolidate private opinions in an incessant dialogue between emotions and rationality.

Odoxa, a survey firm, conducted an opinion research on behalf of France Info and Le Parisien that shows a good example. Not surprisingly, the French responded that they were "outraged" in a proportion of 78%. But the polling firm wanted to know more. So the French were interviewed to find out their first feeling when learning about the Nice attack: 47% said they felt grief, 62% said they felt angry and only 14% said they felt fear.

It is when these results intersect with political views that this survey becomes really interesting: a majority of left-wing voters said their first feeling was grief (54%), while the right-wing voters rather said they felt anger (71%). Among voters supporting the Front National, anger is their first feeling by 85%.

Taken alone and out of context, this survey does not allow us to draw conclusions about the primacy of feelings or opinions based on rationality. However, it allows us to add a brick to the building and to bring closer the day when emotions will have its place in public affairs strategies.

Photo credit: REUTERS

 

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