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New Rochelle Professors To Discuss 'Political Psychology Of 2016 Election'

College of New Rochelle Professors Stephen O'Rourke and Daniel McCarthy (right) will discuss the psychology of this year's presidential election.
College of New Rochelle Professors Stephen O'Rourke and Daniel McCarthy (right) will discuss the psychology of this year's presidential election. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - With the calamitous 2016 presidential campaign coming to a conclusion in less than two weeks, a pair of New Rochelle professors have announced a special lecture looking into the political psychology of this year’s election.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the College of New Rochelle will host a public lecture, dubbed “The Political Psychology of the 2016 Election,” where Professors Daniel McCarthy and Stephen O’Rourke will discuss how presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have communicated with each other and their constituents leading up to the General Election on Nov. 8.

According to the college, the professors will focus on the ways both candidates have “attempted to communicate sincerity, understanding and competence to the voters, while trying to undermine each other’s messages."

During the lecture, McCarthy - an Associate Professor of Political Science - and O’Rourke - an Associate Professor of Psychology - will discuss the unique approaches the candidates took on the campaign trail, and how it resonated with voters. They will look back to how they were chosen to represent their parties in the first place, how they’re being viewed currently by those peers and why the candidates engender such passion from their constituents.

“According to the democratic ideal, citizens rationally evaluate policies and candidates and then make choices after careful consideration of the evidence,” O’Rourke said. “But in real life, people make political decisions based on both reason and emotion.”

McCarthy added that “it is often the case that voters’ emotions govern their rationality. Reasons are given for decisions that have already been made because they feel right. Politicians seek to influence these feelings through their speeches, symbolic actions, advertisements, endorsements and policy positions.”

“The Political Psychology of the 2016 Election” lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Sweeny Student Center at the New Rochelle campus at 29 Castle Pl.

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