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Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression


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Emotions expressed by leaders in videos predict political aggression


David Matsumoto
a a b

, Hyisung C. Hwang & Mark G. Frank

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA
b c

Humintell, El Cerrito, CA, USA

Department of Communication, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA Version of record first published: 12 Feb 2013.

To cite this article: David Matsumoto , Hyisung C. Hwang & Mark G. Frank (2013): Emotions expressed by leaders in videos predict political aggression, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, DOI:10.1080/19434472.2013.769116 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19434472.2013.769116

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Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 2013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19434472.2013.769116

Emotions expressed by leaders in videos predict political aggression


David Matsumotoa,b , Hyisung C. Hwanga and Mark G. Frankc
b a Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA; Humintell, El Cerrito, CA, USA; cDepartment of Communication, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA

(Received 21 October 2012; nal version received 18 January 2013)

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Matsumoto, Hwang, and Frank [2012a. Emotions expressed in speeches by leaders of ideologically motivated groups predict aggression. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression. doi:10.1080/19434472.2012.716449] provided evidence that the verbal expression of anger, contempt, and disgust by leaders of ideologically motivated groups when talking about their archrival opponent outgroups is associated with subsequent political aggression. That study was limited in two ways, rst because it only analyzed emotions expressed in text, and second because it analyzed only text excerpts that directly mentioned the outgroups. In this study, we remedied both limitations by analyzing emotions nonverbally expressed by leaders in videos, and by comparing both outgroup and non-outgroup mentions. Leaders of groups that eventually committed acts of aggression expressed signicantly more anger, contempt, and disgust when talking about their archrival opponent outgroups than when not talking, whereas there was no such difference for acts of resistance. These ndings reinforced the potentially important role of anger, contempt, and disgust in the escalation to political aggression. Keywords: emotion; expression; political aggression; anger; contempt; disgust

A study in this issue (Matsumoto, Hwang, & Frank, 2012a) provided evidence that the expression of anger, contempt, and disgust by leaders of ideologically motivated groups when talking about their archrival outgroups is associated with subsequent political aggression. In that study emotional expressions were analyzed solely from text excerpts that directly mentioned the outgroups. Because nonverbal messages are effective and attitudinal, a more complete assessment requires an analysis of video, not just text, as it allows for seeing and hearing nonverbal behaviors, as well as listening to the words. A better assessment also requires an analysis of emotions expressed, not only when opponent outgroups are discussed but also when they are not discussed, to examine if specic emotions are linked with specic topics, which they should be if emotion serves as a motivational basis for action. In this study, we examined emotions expressed in videos by leaders of ideologically motivated groups both when talking about the opponent outgroups and not testing the following hypotheses:
H1: Leaders of groups that committed acts of aggression (AoAs) will express more anger, contempt, and disgust when speaking about their opponent outgroups than when speaking

Corresponding author. Email: dm@sfsu.edu

# 2013 Society for Terrorism Research

D. Matsumoto et al.
about something else; there will be no such differences for groups that engaged in acts of resistance (AoRs). H2: The differences observed in H1 will be stronger the closer in time to the event. We also assessed emotions expressed solely in text using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker, Chung, Ireland, Gonzales, & Booth, 2007). LIWC counts the number of words in text that corresponds to various categories of meaning and converts the tallies into percentages. We used the LIWC Anger variable; although it does not differentiate among anger, contempt, and disgust, it was unnecessary because the previous study showed that these emotions act in unison when opponent outgroups are discussed in speeches associated with AoAs. H3a: Leaders of groups that committed AoAs will have higher scores on LIWC Anger when speaking about their opponent outgroups than when speaking about something else; there will be no differences for AoRs. H3b: LIWC Anger will be associated with anger, contempt, and disgust coded in the videos.

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Method Source acquisition We used the same criteria for AoAs and AoRs as in the previous study and obtained videos of leaders of groups talking about the opponent outgroups at 3, 6, and 12 months before the event. Events for which at least one video was found for all points in time were included, resulting in 20 AoAs and 6 AoRs (Table 1), involving 152 video clips (123 AoAs, 29 AoRs), of which 29 hours were in English and 15.5 hours in another language (Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Georgian, Sinhala, Mandarin, or Spanish). All videos were transcribed to text. All non-English videos were translated into English by a company that had no idea of the hypotheses. (The company is a professional global translation company that utilized two translators with native language expertise for each language, one who did the primary translation, and a second who performed a check on the translation.) The total corpus included 14,299 sentences and 301,304 words (1417 sentences and 25,589 words came from AoRs). Sentences were time-coded to videos. Outgroup identication We used the same criteria as in the previous study to identify sentences that included outgroup mentions, but we also included sentences that did and did not include outgroup mentions in the coding and analyses. Four coders performed the annotations, evenly splitting the corpus. Interrater reliability on a randomly selected 10% of the corpus at the beginning of coding and another 10% in the middle was computed using Gwets (2008) AC1 and was acceptable both times (.88 and .79); disagreements were arbitrated to produce a nal set of annotations for those texts. Video emotion coding We coded the same seven emotions (anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) that were coded in the previous study using an adaptation of the Emotional Expressive Behavior coding system (Gross & Levenson, 1993), which includes descriptions of the facial and vocal characteristics of the emotions. Coders rst watched an entire video, paying attention to the speakers tone of voice, gestures, and facial

Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression


Table 1. Listing of AoAs and AoRs analyzed in the study. Type of act Year AoAs Event Speakers Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy Lyndon N. Johnson Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush Boris Yeltsin Gerry Adams, Martin McGuiness Yasser Arafat George W. Bush John Howard Hassan Nasrallah Ehud Olmert Fayradh al-Akhadhar, Ismaeel Haniya, Musa Abu Marzouq, Khaled Mashaal Ehud Olmert Robert Mugabe Ehud Barak Dimitri Medvedev, Vladimir Putin Mikhail Saakashvili Jintau Hu, Jiabao, Wen Megyn Kelly, Troy Newman, Bill OReilly, Cherly Sullenger Mahinda Rajapaksa Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu Martin Luther King, Jr Lyndon B. Johnson Martin Luther King, Jr Juan Carlos de Bourbon, Adolfo Suarez Nelson Mandela Dalai Lama Speaker country USA USA USA Russia Ireland Palestine USA Australia Lebanon Israel Palestine Israel Zimbabwe Israel Russia Georgia China USA Sri Lanka Israel USA USA USA Spain South Africa China

1961 Bay of Pigs invasion 1965 Escalation of war in Vietnam 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall 1994 First Chechen war 1996 IRA ceasere bombing 2000 Second Palestinian Intifada 2003 Invasion of Iraq 2003 Invasion of Iraq 2006 Lebanon War 2007 Operation Orchard 2007 Israeli Gaza conict 2007 Israeli Gaza conict 2008 Mugabe auto-coup 2008 Operation Cast Lead/ The Gaza War 2008 South Ossetia War 2008 South Ossetia War 2008 Chinese response to Tibet protests 2009 Assassination of George Tiller 2009 LTTE leader killed by Sri Lankan military 2010 Operation Seabreeze 1963 March on Washington 1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign 1977 Establishment of the Spanish Constitution 1994 End of apartheid 2008 Chinese response to Tibet protests

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AoRs

expressions. Then coders rewatched the video and coded the emotions expressed in each sentence using a transcript in a spreadsheet with one sentence per line followed by seven elds, where coders rated the intensity of the seven emotions expressed by the speaker. Ratings were made using a scale anchored 0, non-existent, to 10, maximum expression and experience of that emotion. Coders were instructed that each sentence should be seen, heard, and interpreted in context and that a sentence can contain none, one, or multiple emotions. The descriptions for anger, contempt, and disgust were the same as in the previous study and included the following additional descriptions:

D. Matsumoto et al.

. Anger is expressed facially by lowering of the brows, staring of the eyes, tensing the lower eyelids, or pursing of the lips; posturally by head and chin brought forward; and vocally by a harsh edge in the voice. . Contempt is expressed by a one-sided smile or smirk; posturally by head back and sideways, looking down ones nose; and vocally through smug sounds. . Disgust is expressed facially by a wrinkling of the nose or raising of the upper lip; posturally by turning away; and vocally by yuck sounds.

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Six coders coded the videos. Reliability was established on videos for three randomly selected events; the rst author also coded these videos. Intraclass correlations (ICC) computed for absolute agreement were .77, .72, .71, .77, .85, .72, and .54 for the seven emotions, respectively. The low ICC for surprise occurred because it was very infrequently coded. Also the means of the coders ratings were signicantly correlated with the rst authors codes for each emotion. The remaining corpus was evenly distributed across coders with the condition that no coder coded videos from more than one time frame for the same event. Each emotion was averaged across sentences across speeches within each time frame to generate a single set of codes for each speech at each time for each event.

Linguistic analyses We used LIWC 2007 (Pennebaker et al., 2007). We merged all speeches for the same event and time frame so that each event and time frame contributed only one document to the analysis, avoiding problems of independence. We also divided the text into those that did or did not contain references to the opponent outgroups. The LIWC Anger variable was used for analyses.

Results H1 and H2 We examined differences in expressed emotions when leaders spoke about the opponent outgroups vs. when not, separately for each emotion and event. As predicted, leaders of AoAs expressed signicantly more anger, contempt, and disgust when talking about their opponent outgroups than when not talking; these effects were not signicant for AoRs. These ndings were reproduced using bootstrapped t-tests and Wilcoxin signed ranks (Table 2). The Wilcoxins also produced signicant decreases in happiness when talking about the outgroup in both AoAs and AoRs. Thus H1 was supported. For H2, we computed mixed Event (AoA vs. AoR), Time Frame (3, 6, and 12 months prior to the event), and Outgroup Mention (Outgroup vs. No Outgroup) three-way ANOVAs on each emotion. Time Frame did not produce any signicant effects. We also conducted pairwise comparisons across adjacent times separately for each emotion and event using both t-tests and Wilcoxins; none was signicant. Thus H2 was not supported.

H3 We computed a mixed Event by Outgroup Mention two-way ANOVA on LIWC Anger. Although the interaction was not signicant, F1,24 1.36, ns, simple effects

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Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression

Table 2. Means (and standard deviations) of each of the expressed emotions, separately for AoAs and AoRs, and results of comparison tests. Group AoAs Emotion Anger Contempt Disgust Fear Happiness Sadness Surprise Anger Contempt Disgust Fear Happiness Sadness Surprise M non-outgroup 0.92 0.56 0.14 0.38 0.29 0.31 0.28 0.74 0.20 0.14 0.34 0.31 0.38 0.20 (0.45) (0.39) (0.20) (0.27) (0.21) (0.24) (0.28) (0.30) (0.19) (0.32) (0.19) (0.20) (0.21) (0.27) M outgroup 1.34 0.71 0.35 0.45 0.24 0.41 0.26 0.90 0.25 0.20 0.32 0.19 0.40 0.30 (0.89) (0.54) (0.44) (0.40) (0.50) (0.40) (0.35) (0.36) (0.35) (0.34) (0.10) (0.15) (0.25) (0.34) t 3.04 2.09 3.49 1.57 0.54 1.74 0.45 1.11 0.55 1.92 0.31 1.97 0.16 2.13

d 0.68 0.45 0.78 0.35 0.12 0.39 0.10 0.46 0.22 0.79 0.13 0.81 0.06 0.87

p-Bootstrapped t 0.03 0.08 0.01 ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns ns

p-Wilcoxin 0.003 0.048 0.003 ns 0.006 ns ns ns ns ns ns 0.046 ns ns

AoRs

p , .05. p , .01, two-tailed tests.

D. Matsumoto et al.

analyses indicated that AoAs had signicantly higher scores on LIWC Anger when talking about the opponent outgroups (M 1.43, SD 1.25) than when talking about something else (M 0.63, SD 0.45), t(20) 3.53, p , .01, d .79. This difference was also signicant using Wilcoxins and bootstrapped ts. There was no difference in LIWC Anger for AoRs, (M 0.67, SD 0.42 and M 0.37, SD 0.31, respectively), t(5) 1.44, ns, and these differences were not signicant using Wilcoxins or bootstrapped ts. Thus H3a was supported. Analyses involving Time Frame as a factor did not produce any signicant effects. For H3b, we computed Pearson and Spearman correlations between LIWC Anger and video-coded anger, contempt, and disgust, separately for outgroup and non-outgroup mentions, and for English and non-English texts; none was signicant. Thus H3b was not supported.
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Post-hoc analyses We computed intercorrelations among anger, contempt, and disgust separately for outgroup and non-outgroup mentions. For non-outgroup mentions, anger was correlated with contempt, r(26) .47, p , .05, but not with disgust, r(26) .17, ns, and contempt was not correlated with disgust, r(26) .30, ns. For outgroup mentions, however, there were signicant intercorrelations among them, r(26) .48, p , .05, r(26) .59, p , .01, and r(26) .43, p , .05, respectively.

Discussion This study corrected two of the previous studys limitations by analyzing emotions expressed in videos not just text, and by comparing outgroup vs. non-outgroup mentions. Leaders of groups that eventually committed AoAs expressed signicantly more anger, contempt, and disgust when talking about their archrival outgroups than when not talking, whereas there was no such difference for AoRs. Leaders of AoAs also expressed more anger-related words than leaders of AoRs when speaking about their opponent outgroups compared to when not but anger-related words were not associated with video-coded emotions. The same limitations in the previous study were applicable here as well, including the selection of the events analyzed, the small sample sizes, and the use of non-English source materials. By correcting two of the previous studys limitations, these ndings reinforced the potential importance of the role of anger, contempt, and disgust in the escalation to political aggression. Anger-related words were not correlated with video-coded expressions of anger, contempt, or disgust, suggesting that verbal and nonverbal expressions may be two separate sources of information about emotion or the non-ndings may have occurred because of differences in cultural norms about verbal and nonverbal emotional expressions. This nding opens the door to future research examining how emotions expressed verbally and nonverbally in the same speech episode are related to each other. The intercorrelations among anger, contempt, and disgust suggested that these emotions are somewhat independent of each other because they were not all intercorrelated when leaders discussed non-opponent outgroup topics. Although the data are not denitive, they do suggest that anger, contempt, and disgust each sampled different domains of emotion but organized themselves similarly when the leaders discussed the

Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression

opponent outgroups. Future studies may address the potential independent roles of these emotions in contributing to aggression. Some ndings were inconsistent with those of the previous study. For example, expressions of anger, contempt, and disgust did not differ across time here, whereas in Matsumoto et al.s (2012a) study they increased for AoAs closer to the event. Differences in the ndings may have been due to differences in the events sampled or in the coding procedures. Interestingly, another study examining emotions expressed in the same text source material as the Matsumoto et al. (2012a) study but using a different coding procedure reported anger, contempt, and disgust differences that were consistent with those reported here (Matsumoto, Hwang, & Frank, 2012b). Future research may examine the inuence of different methods of assessing emotion expression. Regardless of those differences, however, the studies are consistent in painting a picture about the role of elevated levels of anger, contempt, and disgust in political aggression.
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Acknowledgements
The authors disclosed receipt of the following nancial support for the research, authorship, and/ or publication of this article: This report was prepared with the support of research grant FA9550-10-1-0544 from the Air Force Ofce of Scientic Research.

Notes on contributors
David Matsumoto is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Culture and Emotion Research Laboratory at San Francisco State University, where he has been since 1989. He is also Director of Humintell, LLC, a company that provides research, consultation, and training on nonverbal behavioral analysis and cross-cultural adaptation. He has studied culture, emotion, social interaction and communication for over 30 years and has worked extensively with government law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Hyisung C. Hwang is a Research Scientist at Humintell, and Adjunct Assistant Faculty at San Francisco State University. Her research interests are in emotion, nonverbal behaviors, and culture. She is an expert in the conduct of research examining facial expressions and other nonverbal behaviors, and has authored or co-authored numerous scientic articles and book chapters on nonverbal behavior, facial expressions, and culture. Mark G. Frank, Ph.D., is a professor and director of the Communication Science Center at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His research interests are in emotion and deception, and he has worked and consulted extensively with government law enforcement and intelligence agencies in counterterrorism-related activities.

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