The Role and Effect of Discrete Emotion in Negative Political Advertising

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2007-03-14

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Abstract

This thesis is based on the idea that anger, guilt, and fear have a unique impact on persuasive outcomes in political campaigns. Using a negative political advertising context, it was hypothesized that participants would report varied amounts of persuasiveness, varying attitudes toward the target candidate, and dissimilar intention to vote based on the emotion induced and the political orientation (liberalism) of the participant. It was also hypothesized that felt emotion would be highly correlated with persuasion, attitude toward the candidate, and voting intention. Furthermore, it was posited that participants' degree of liberalism would affect their response to the negative message. It was also predicted efficacy would play an important role in facilitating persuasion, attitude toward the candidate, and intention to vote. The data provided mixed support for the predictions. This potential trend toward significance encourages further investigation into the unique effects of fear, anger, and guilt.

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