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Emotional Appeals and Message Frames in Voting

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There has been a low rate of voter turnout in the U.S. in recent years, especially among young voters. In an effort to determine how to best encourage Americans to

There has been a low rate of voter turnout in the U.S. in recent years, especially among young voters. In an effort to determine how to best encourage Americans to vote, emotional appeals and message frames were examined. The objective of this 2x2 study was to determine if positive or negative emotional appeals were more effective in changing voting behavior and if positively framed or negatively framed messages were more effective in changing voting behavior. An experiment was conducted via the Robert B. Cialdini Behavioral Research Lab at ASU, and each participant was shown a piece of voting communication that presented an emotional appeal and a message frame. It was found that, although the positive emotional appeals were not more effective than the negative emotional appeals in changing voting behavior, the positively framed messages were more effective than the negatively framed messages in changing voting behavior.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05