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Engaging the Surveillance System: Cognitive, Emotional, and Physiological Responses to Inappropriate Leader Displays
Unformatted Document Text:  Leader Displays 22 effect for physiological response–smile muscle activation in response to Reagan’s happy/reassurance displays, and frowning activation in response to his anger/threat displays. Although viewers who were cool toward Reagan reported negative feelings in emotional self-report measures regardless of whether his expressions were positive or negative, on a physiological level they seemed unable to resist the manipulation of his reassuring smile or angry glare. Their facial muscle activation literally mirrored his expressions. This study shows that when leader display behavior is considered in the context of the news, viewers become cognitively involved in the processing of the display and this involvement is evidenced at various levels of processing, cognitively, emotionally, and physiologically. Physiologically, an evaluation of the display’s appropriateness seems to moderate how much attention is given to the display, the affective direction of viewers’ facial muscle activation, and the level of autonomic activation, or arousal. Although negative expressive displays were the most arousing, positive displays in response to positive news images were a close second, as shown in Figure 6. Emotionally, viewers report increased feelings of dominance, or being in control, in response to low intensity displays, while high intensity displays that are deemed inappropriate decrease feelings of control, as shown in Figure 7. As a result of such anxiety generating nonverbal behavior, viewers appear to focus attention on the locus of the expectancy violation, the visual component of the broadcast, poorly encoding verbal information contained in the audio narration. The poor recognition memory for verbal information during positive displays markedly improves when the display valence becomes negative and conforms with expectations about appropriate political behavior.

Authors: Bucy, Erik. and Bradley, Samuel.
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Leader Displays 22
effect for physiological response–smile muscle activation in response to Reagan’s
happy/reassurance displays, and frowning activation in response to his anger/threat
displays. Although viewers who were cool toward Reagan reported negative feelings in
emotional self-report measures regardless of whether his expressions were positive or
negative, on a physiological level they seemed unable to resist the manipulation of his
reassuring smile or angry glare. Their facial muscle activation literally mirrored his
expressions.
This study shows that when leader display behavior is considered in the context of
the news, viewers become cognitively involved in the processing of the display and this
involvement is evidenced at various levels of processing, cognitively, emotionally, and
physiologically. Physiologically, an evaluation of the display’s appropriateness seems to
moderate how much attention is given to the display, the affective direction of viewers’
facial muscle activation, and the level of autonomic activation, or arousal. Although
negative expressive displays were the most arousing, positive displays in response to
positive news images were a close second, as shown in Figure 6. Emotionally, viewers
report increased feelings of dominance, or being in control, in response to low intensity
displays, while high intensity displays that are deemed inappropriate decrease feelings of
control, as shown in Figure 7. As a result of such anxiety generating nonverbal behavior,
viewers appear to focus attention on the locus of the expectancy violation, the visual
component of the broadcast, poorly encoding verbal information contained in the audio
narration. The poor recognition memory for verbal information during positive displays
markedly improves when the display valence becomes negative and conforms with
expectations about appropriate political behavior.


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