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Voting Stresses You Out

October 16, 2012 by  

Voting Stresses You Out

A new study finds that voting in elections, like the quickly approaching Presidential election, can actually cause stress and emotional arousal, something people passionate about politics likely already knew.

“Emotional changes are related and affect various physiological processes, but we were surprised that voting in national democratic elections causes emotional reactions accompanied by such physical and psychological stress that can easily influence our decision-making,” according to Professor Hagit Cohen from the Anxiety and Stress Research Unit at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The study, published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, found that the level of cortisol in study participants was nearly three times higher just before voting than it was 21 months later. Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” is released when a person is in a state of stress, threat or emotional distress.

The study was conducted on Israel’s Election Day in 2009 with individuals on their way into a polling place. They were asked to give a saliva sample and to complete a questionnaire examining emotional arousal at a stand that was placed 30 feet from the ballot box.

“Since we do not like to feel ‘stressed out,’ it is unclear whether this pressure on Election Day can influence people and cause them not to vote at all. Impact on voter turnout is particularly important given that the stress levels rise if our preferred party or candidate for whom we want to vote is not popular in the polls,” Cohen said.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Harold Olsen

    I don’t let things stress me out, especially elections. The boss I had in my previous job told me that I handle stress better than any one he has ever seen. In my current job, a former supervisor told me how amazed he was that I let very little get to me.

  • Gary L

    I wont be stressed when I go to vote. Voting against Obama will be a pleasure that I am looking forward to.

    • Deerinwater

      It’s sad that you feel you are voting against something in stead of for something but it does explain your absence of stress.

      The thinking that being hit by a ton of feathers is most desirable then a ton of bricks might well make sense on some level but I can assure you 2000 pounds is 2000 pounds and the end results equally certain.

      A good well rounded perspective helps minimize this voters stress. If you have the perspective of a Trench Fighter , you will experience great stress as you stay on constant guard for any breach in your defense, all the unknown, all the blind spots are a potential threat.

      Too much time spent at the ole Punch Bowel will bring on this voter stress.

      Que Sera, Sera

      Human activities only delay the inevitable.

  • Buddy

    No no no no no. It’s not the act of voting that stresses people out, it’s the insane results that causes it. Over the last 3 decades so many incompetent politicians have been elected and more insane & unconstitutional ballot measures passed that I sometimes have to question my sanity. I tell you, there’s nothing like being enslaved and held hostage by the “majority”.

    What a great country. Yuk.

  • Louis Lemieux

    Whether Romney becomes president or Obama stays is not a matter of life and death as many believe or would like us to believe. Either way it won’t change my life that much. I’m financially OK and I can choose not to work if that’s what I want. Americans get to choose every four years anyway, don’t they?

    Nevertheless it’s up to each and everyone of us to choose what we think is better for our country. The concentration of wealth in the US is a fact we should not ignore. The concentration of wealth has created a new “nobility“ we call the “super rich.“ As the power of nobility keeps rising, opportunities to succeed diminishes for the average person and this is the reason so many people in the past have fled their countries to migrate to the US. All existing US dollars in America form a huge blanket and the super rich, too many of them anyway, are using their dollars to support those politicians who will help them succeed in pulling the blanket more towards themselves. They can get more dollars if the government has less to help others help themselves. Many of those super rich can afford to buy, if they want to, thousands of houses worth $200,000.00 each. Greed is addictive! Americans make up 5% of world population but generate 23% of the wealth in the world. Who in the US benefits the most from that wealth?

    My perception of reality is that Democrats right now favor more the middle class and I will be voting for the Democratic Party comes November.

    • Bob

      Louis, you say this election is not a matter of life or death. After paying close attention for the last 4 years, I think if just may be. If Obummer is reelected we may be speaking an Arabic dialect or bowing to Mecca by the time the next election cycle comes around and it may not come around if the Musilm brotherhood decide elections are no longer needed.

      • deerinwater

        Step away from the Punch Bowel ~

    • Vigilant

      “Either way it won’t change my life that much. I’m financially OK and I can choose not to work if that’s what I want.”

      LMAO! Famous last words… remember them when the financial debacle occurs within the next few years.

      • deerinwater

        This false sense of immunity ~ has actually helped create many of the problems we face today. This “I got mine” ~ and ~ ” you can get yours the same way I did.”

        It would serve us best if we thought of ourselves as a society and work to preserve it rather then return to independent hunter /gathers and “loose canons”

    • Louis Lemieux

      To Bob, Vigilant and anyone else with the same mentality: it never occurred to you that a very small minority of Americans are that pessimistic about the economy? Some people are smart enough to exploit to their own benefit this fear of the future some people have and they foment it!

      • Warrior

        Thanks for your reassurance? And I thought uncle ben’s printing was a bad thing. Boy, was I wrong! Thanks again.


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