The political relevance of citizens' affective judgments is increasingly becoming a target of scholarly inquiry. Marcus and MacKuen (1993) have demonstrated that individuals' affective judgments enhance the efficiency of information processing during presidential campaigns. Emotions, however, are uniform in neither their underlying processes nor their effects on political behavior. Marcus and MacKuen have argued that candidate-induced anxiety stimulates political learning but not campaign involvement. This study informs the analysis of emotions and campaign involvement by considering the moderating influence of political efficacy. Specifically, we demonstrate that internal efficacy moderates the influence of anxiety on campaign involvement. 1 Anxiety among the highly efficacious drives involvement while anxiety among those with low internal efficacy is of little consequence. In short, we find that the extent to which negative affect influences campaign involvement is conditional, at least in part, on individuals' perceived ability to successfully undertake political action.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science