Why Obama’s Cool Makes Blood Boil

November 17, 2010 1 min read

Seems like in a crisis we’d all want a leader who keeps a cool head and doesn’t get flustered. We’d want someone who is stoic, strong and can convince us that everything is going to be all right, right? Well … maybe not.

In a really interesting study published in 2003 by Emily Butler and her colleagues, a test subject watching gruesome war films was asked to suppress her emotions so that a colleague (watching the film in the same room) wouldn’t see any expression. Not only did emotional suppression make the blood pressure rise in the person suppressing the emotion, but blood pressure of the colleague in the room also rose significantly. The non-emotional reaction to a clearly emotional experience made it harder for the two to like each other and report positive rapport.

This study better explains the really negative gut-reaction to Obama than anything else I’ve read. 

Great actors are able to show “real emotion” just below the surface of trying to act brave. Maybe this explains Reagan’s “Great Communicator” label?

Acting classes, Mr. President?