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Hearts, Minds, and Tulips: The Contribution of Active Intelligence in Understanding Dutch Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  Capelos: Emotionality, Vote, and Party Identification - 14 - who remain faithful to their party even when they are uncomfortable with the party leadership. A related issue is the low emotionality of Dutch voters. The toned down interactions of political parties and elites operating in the context of coalition governments do not allow for the development of dramatic events that inspire great anxiety or aversion to the electorate. In this textbook example of consensus-based government with multiparty competition in elections, heated arguments, open confrontation, and emotionality, are kept to a minimum in order to preserve coalition potential in the future. Thus, emotional reactions will be examined here on the basis of toned down affect indicators, such as worry and irritation, rather than fear and anger. Despite these modifications and challenges, I place faith in the performance of the affective intelligence theory outside the American political context, because it is rooted in contemporary neurophysiology studies that examine the mechanism of monitoring the political environment. These neurological functions should apply to all citizens regardless of the particularities of political systems. Anxious voters are inclined to search for information and consider novel evidence available to them more carefully, in contrast to non-anxious voters, who are inclined to rely on their heuristics for their vote preference. Sensitive to the particularities of the Dutch environment, I explore this hypothesis focusing on parties rather than leaders as the sources of potential anxiety. And sensitive to the fine differences between types of anxiety, I explore the performance of its general operationalization based on worry and irritation, but also focus closely on worry alone. The data collection and instruments used are discussed in the following section. Methodology To test the applicability of the affective intelligence model in the Dutch political context, I use the DNES (Dutch National Election Study) survey data collected in the Netherlands in 2006, the weeks around the Dutch National elections for the Second Chamber of Parliament. The DNES 2006 dataset is based on responses from a nationally representative sample of 2806 respondents, and it contains, for the first time, items of

Authors: Capelos, Tereza.
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Capelos: Emotionality, Vote, and Party Identification
- 14 -
who remain faithful to their party even when they are uncomfortable with the party
leadership.
A related issue is the low emotionality of Dutch voters. The toned down
interactions of political parties and elites operating in the context of coalition
governments do not allow for the development of dramatic events that inspire great
anxiety or aversion to the electorate. In this textbook example of consensus-based
government with multiparty competition in elections, heated arguments, open
confrontation, and emotionality, are kept to a minimum in order to preserve coalition
potential in the future. Thus, emotional reactions will be examined here on the basis of
toned down affect indicators, such as worry and irritation, rather than fear and anger.
Despite these modifications and challenges, I place faith in the performance of the
affective intelligence theory outside the American political context, because it is rooted in
contemporary neurophysiology studies that examine the mechanism of monitoring the
political environment. These neurological functions should apply to all citizens regardless
of the particularities of political systems. Anxious voters are inclined to search for
information and consider novel evidence available to them more carefully, in contrast to
non-anxious voters, who are inclined to rely on their heuristics for their vote preference.
Sensitive to the particularities of the Dutch environment, I explore this hypothesis
focusing on parties rather than leaders as the sources of potential anxiety. And sensitive
to the fine differences between types of anxiety, I explore the performance of its general
operationalization based on worry and irritation, but also focus closely on worry alone.
The data collection and instruments used are discussed in the following section.
Methodology
To test the applicability of the affective intelligence model in the Dutch political
context, I use the DNES (Dutch National Election Study) survey data collected in the
Netherlands in 2006, the weeks around the Dutch National elections for the Second
Chamber of Parliament. The DNES 2006 dataset is based on responses from a nationally
representative sample of 2806 respondents, and it contains, for the first time, items of


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