Elements of Negativity: Volume and Proportion in Exposure to Negative Advertising

Elements of Negativity: Volume and Proportion in Exposure to Negative Advertising Recent studies contend that negative advertising benefits voters. However, these studies only measure the volume of negativity in campaigns, often relying on survey data on voter behavior coupled with estimates of negative ad exposure. Theories of information processing indicate that the proportion of negativity may yield influences spanning a range of judgments related to candidate construction and voting behavior, yielding effects that are different from the influence of sheer volume. Thus, I argue that the proportion of negativity also has an influence, and that it is likely more often to be detrimental. I examine this claim using survey data and conclude that prevailing accounts of the effects of negative advertising campaigns are underspecified and, as a result, potentially overly optimistic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Elements of Negativity: Volume and Proportion in Exposure to Negative Advertising

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-008-9082-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent studies contend that negative advertising benefits voters. However, these studies only measure the volume of negativity in campaigns, often relying on survey data on voter behavior coupled with estimates of negative ad exposure. Theories of information processing indicate that the proportion of negativity may yield influences spanning a range of judgments related to candidate construction and voting behavior, yielding effects that are different from the influence of sheer volume. Thus, I argue that the proportion of negativity also has an influence, and that it is likely more often to be detrimental. I examine this claim using survey data and conclude that prevailing accounts of the effects of negative advertising campaigns are underspecified and, as a result, potentially overly optimistic.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 9, 2009

References

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