University of Twente Student Theses


The use of emotions in political campaigns - The case of the Brexit Referendum

Forster, S.N (2018) The use of emotions in political campaigns - The case of the Brexit Referendum.

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Abstract:Studies regarding the European Union (EU) referendums have long been an opportunity to analyse the voting behaviour of the citizens. Thereby, special attention was laid down to the referendum outcome, in order to determine if the referendum voting was influenced by the dissatisfaction or satisfaction with the incumbent government or the general attitude towards the EU. But, the recent focus has turned towards the referendum campaigns in order to understand the voting behaviour. Hereby, the attention is brought to the information which the voters gain during the campaigns in order to analyse how salient the referendum topic gets in the minds of the citizens. But these studies do not consider the emotions which can be used in the campaigns. Therefore this paper aims to identify with which specific emotions the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ campaign played in the Brexit referendum. A content analysis of British newspaper articles is conducted and afterwards a statistically analysis. It is found that the ‘Remain’ campaign played mainly with negative emotions, whereas the ‘Leave’ campaign played with a mix of positive and negative emotions in order to convince the voters. This study shows that campaigners need to take adequate research before the campaign in order to study what kind of relationship the voter has with the referendum topic.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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