Political Decision-Making: Exploring Empathy-Based Intervention Mechanisms To Combat Implicit Bias Against Women Among U.S. Policy Makers
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This thesis examines how empathy-based strategies can be used to combat underlying biases in politicians that impact women in the United States. This will include an examination of the neurological, rational, and emotional frameworks politicians currently use when making decisions regarding emotionally charged topics. This discussion will then be followed by an exploration of emotional intelligence and empathy, and next, an analysis of the necessity of emotion and empathy within the political decision-making process. Through a thorough review of the neuroscience, behavioral economics, and psychological literature, this thesis will explore how emotion-based perspectives can provide insight into how to build emotional intelligence and situational awareness in politicians. Supreme Court decisions will also be studied for legislative intent to analyze how political decisions are made and the role of empathy in these processes. The implications of this thesis are relevant not only to those who are personally affected by policy decisions, but also to the broader population, as a lack of understanding and empathy characterizes our political climate. As politics become increasingly polarized, the gap in empathy grows larger and larger, and this has far-reaching effects on societal function, notably on how we understand and compromise with one another regarding contentious issues.