Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

The Map to the Heart: An Analysis of Political Affectivity in Turkey

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Abstract:  This study examines the complexity of citizens’ political affectivity in Turkey. Drawing from componential models of affect, we rely on situational (motive consistent versus inconsistent) and motivational state (gain or loss) appraisals to test hypotheses on systematic differences in the clusters of political affect that span beyond the traditionally measured discrete emotional reactions of anger, hope, pride and fear. Using qualitative interview data from 2012, we develop a topography of affect clusters and systems of associations between political concepts. We find citizens express their emotionality in rich terms. They are linked to appraisals of multiple political objects, they reflect aversive, anxious, loss and gain oriented emotional responses, and they are guided by citizens’ ideological orientations. This study is valuable as it addresses a significant gap in the study of political affect going beyond their discrete categorizations. It introduces a mapping methodology as an effective way of capturing the complexity of affect systems, and it reveals powerful insights into the depth and richness of emotions based on appraisal dimensions, enriching our understanding of political tensions and developments in Turkish politics and beyond.

Keywords:  affect; appraisals; cognitive affective maps; emotions; ideology; interviews; political affectivity; Turkey



© Tereza Capelos, Stavroula Chrona. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.