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When it comes to political persuasion, why emotion matters

“The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation” might have been published in 2007, but its message is as relevant as ever, especially as the 2024 campaign ramps up. Author Drew Westen, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has for 20 years explored the role of emotions in how the brain processes information.

That’s true in life — and in politics. And that explains why Westen has advised or worked as a political consultant for Democratic candidates, progressive and labor organizations and Fortune 500 companies for 20 years. Equal Time speaks to Westen on how a better understanding of the mind and brain translates into more compelling political messaging. Who is doing it right, and who could most use his help right now?

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