The outcome of the 2016 election was a shock for many. And apparently, some Clinton voters still haven’t gotten over that shock psychologically.
If you don’t believe me, just check out a recent study published in the journal Emotion. In the study, the researchers tracked three groups of voters in the United States: Trump voters, Clinton voters, and voters who disliked both Clinton and Trump.
The researchers were especially interested in how each group of voters would fare following the election, so they kept tabs on each group’s levels of life satisfaction and happiness before the election, at the time of the election, and up to six months after the election.
When it came to life satisfaction, Trump voters understandably got a boost from the results of the 2016 election. Meanwhile, Clinton voters and voters who saw both Trump and Clinton as poor candidates experienced decreases life satisfaction. For all three groups of voters, however, levels of life satisfaction returned to normal in the six months following the election.
Looking at levels of happiness, the story was slightly more interesting. As with life satisfaction, Trump voters got a temporary boost in happiness that faded completely in the months following the election. And voters who preferred neither candidate again experienced a transient dip in happiness.
For Clinton voters, however, their levels of happiness decreased after the election and still hadn’t returned to normal six months later. This suggests that the 2016 election had at least some long-term mental health effects for Clinton supporters.
There are many ways in which the 2016 election was a strange occurrence, and the more psychologists have a chance to study that election, the more strangeness is being uncovered. See, for example, the study I wrote about last week showing a correlation between voters’ views on Trump and their sensitivity to body odor. So now to all that strangeness you can add the fact that while the election results didn’t ultimately make Trump voters a whole lot happier, they apparently did take a long-term toll on the general happiness of Clinton voters.