Affective and semantic components in political person perception

Robert P. Abelson, Donald R. Kinder, Mark D. Peters, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

495 Scopus citations


In 2 national surveys, one with 280 and the other with 1,008 respondents, Ss ascribed personality traits to prominent national politicians and reported the feelings that the politicians elicited. It was found that summary scores of good feelings and bad feelings were nearly independent of each other, much more so than were good and bad trait judgments. Affective registrations, in short, were less semantically filtered and less subject to consistency pressures. Summary scores of affect strongly predicted political preference. This effect was independent of and more powerful than that for personality judgments. Thus, affective registrations were not at all redundant with semantic judgments. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-630
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • elicited affective responses to national politicians &
  • perceived personality traits &
  • political preferences


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