Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When negative political ads work

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
University of Miami
Summary:
Televised political advertising takes up a large portion of campaigns budgets. Much of it is spent on negative political ads. A new study shows that a negative political ad is most effective when it's shown in moderation. The findings reveal that massive exposure to a negative ad has a backlash effect on the evaluation of the sponsor candidate.

Televised political advertising takes up a large portion of campaign budgets, much of which are spent on negative political ads. But do these negative ads work? A new study by Juliana Fernandes, assistant professor of strategic communication at the University of Miami School of Communication, shows that a negative political ad is most effective when it's shown in moderation.

The findings reveal that massive exposure to a negative ad has a backlash effect on the evaluation of the sponsoring candidate.

"People will be more likely to appreciate and vote for the candidate who is sponsoring the negative advertisement if the ad is presented in a spaced-out manner, over time," says Fernandes. "A candidate who doesn't have a large budget for political advertising can use the same advertising over and over again, but in a way that is more strategic."

In the study, university students participated in two separate tests. First, 150 participants watched the repetition of a 30-second negative political ad of candidates that were likely unknown to participants (one, three, or five exposures). The ads were presented sequentially, characterizing the presentation as massive. The results show that evaluation and the likelihood of voting for the sponsor candidate was highest when the participants were exposed to the ad three times and lowest when they were exposed to the ad five times.

In the second test, 306 university students watched advertisements for unknown candidates within a 30-minute television program, with varying time intervals between ad repetitions. Afterwards, participants filled out questionnaires to evaluate the sponsor and the attacked candidates as well as the likelihood of voting for them.

The results indicate that larger time intervals between repetitions of the ad favor the evaluation of the sponsor candidate and disfavor the evaluation of the target candidate. This was true even with increased repetition, suggesting that the sponsor candidate can avoid the backlash effect by allowing larger time intervals between ad exposures.

"In my study, I show that negative political ads do work under certain conditions," Fernandes says. "I think they can help the political process because people can look at some facts, process the information more carefully, and later on -- when people cast their votes -- they can make an informed decision."

The study is titled "Effects of Negative Political Advertising and Message Repetition on Candidate Evaluation." Its findings will be published in the March 2013 edition of the journal Mass Communication and Society.

In the future, Fernandes would like to investigate valance variation, such as what happens when there are repeated negative and positive political ads and when there are negative ads sponsored by opposing candidates. She would also like to analyze the possible effects of individual variables, such as gender and party affiliation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Miami. "When negative political ads work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024124853.htm>.
University of Miami. (2012, October 24). When negative political ads work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024124853.htm
University of Miami. "When negative political ads work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024124853.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

AP (July 30, 2014) Scientists in Texas are studying the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 670 people across West Africa this year. Right now, the disease has no vaccine and no specific treatment, with a fatality rate of at least 60 percent. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins