This study aims to examine the effects of rationality and emotion on voter turnout. By applying the empirical implications of a theoretical models framework, I outline the relationship between rationality, emotion, and turnout and propose two hypotheses about the effects of party differential and emotion differential on turnout. The empirical test using data from American National Election Studies 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 shows that both party differential and emotion differential exert significantly positive effects on turnout, which confirms that individual turnout decision is a function of both rationality and emotion. However, this study suggests that rationality plays a more important and consistent role in individual turnout decision than emotion, because the effect of emotion on turnout might be built on the appearance of charismatic candidates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations