Discourse and Cognition in Political Psychology. How Political Language Could Shape Emotions and Beliefs?

Silviu-Petru GRECU


The aim of this article is to underlie the role played by the political discourse in creating social and political beliefs, emotions and attitudes. However, at the theoretical level we can observe the role played by the emotional structure in generating “hot cognition”. Thus, the relation between political cognition and emotional stimuli was described in the field of the cognitive neurosciences through fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Moreover, researchers have observed a strong relationship between the limbic system and political stimuli. Also, in the field of the cognitive sciences we have to stress the role played by the “mental contexts” in shaping social and political cognition. Thus, the main catalyst for generating mental contexts is represented by the political language/ political discourse. This article realizes the qualitative analysis of the discourse sustained at Mansion House by the Prime- Minister Theresa May. The theme of the discourse regards the future of UK after Brexit. Also, the discourse presents the economic and social challenges for the future of the UK. In correlation with the theoretical framework, we tested if this kind of discourse generates rational beliefs or emotions. Empirical findings demonstrate the equilibrium between rational beliefs and emotional stimuli. If we refer to the emotional sphere we have to underline the presence of the words which generate emotions as: patriotic feeling (national pride), freedom, independence and need for security and protection.


political cognition, Brexit, “mental context”, Theresa May, political discourse

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