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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
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