S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 38 Number 1/2 (2015)
Perceived Threat as a Motivator of Policy Voting : Analysis of the 2012 US Presidential Election
- Shin, Hwayong
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.38 No.1, pp. 77-101
- Threat Perception; Emotion; Policy Voting; Terrorism; Defense Spending; The 2012 US Presidential Election
- This paper discusses the role of perceived threat in strengthening the link between policy preferences and vote decisions in the context of the US presidential election. While it is commonly believed that policy voting is weakly related with emotion, it is found that higher perceived threat leads individuals to more clearly reflect their policy stance on vote choices. Analysis of the 2012 ANES data reveals that perceived threat, rather than overshadowing policy consideration, makes individuals more attentive to relevant policy, such as defense spending, in making vote decisions. Moreover, influence of perceived threat on policy preferences is especially prominent among the people with higher political knowledge who are commonly expected to be dispassionate in making political judgment. Through these findings this paper highlights the potential of perceived threat as a trigger of policy voting that undergirds reasoned vote decisions; therefore, such decisions make vote choices to achieve better electoral accountability.