The Effects of Political Advertising - Glen Co
Setting aside the question of whether or not things have gotten worse, there remain to be addressed important questions about the effects of negative campaigning. However, clear answers to these questions are not readily forthcoming because research on negative campaigning and negative campaign advertising has yielded conflicting results. Some studies suggest that negative campaign ads are more easily remembered and, therefore, have a greater influence on voters' attitudes and vote decisions. Other research, however, provides evidence that the opposite is true. Moreover, while some research suggests that candidates who run negative ads are more likely to win, other research suggests that running negative ads makes a candidate more likely (or at least equally likely) to lose. There are also conflicting conclusions about the effect of negative advertising on voter turnout--some research concludes that negative campaigning depresses turnout while other findings suggest that intense competition (often characterized by negative campaigning) enhances voter turnout. (For an excellent review of this research see "The Effectiveness of Negative Political Advertisements: A Meta-analytic Review" by Richard Lau, Lee Sigelman, Caroline Heldman, & Paul Babbitt in the American Political Science Review, Volume 93, Number 4, December 1999.)
Effects of Political Advertising in the 2008 Presidential ..
In the sections that follow, we will first provide some background on the scope and extent of commercial and political advertising and the regulatory environment in which advertisers operate. Next, we describe recent scholarly research into the content and effects of political advertising. We then describe our experimental methodology for assessing the impact of political advertising on receptiveness to commercial advertising and summarize the findings. Finally, we consider the implications of our evidence for the current debate.
Prior to examining the effects of political advertising on affective reactions to specific product ads, we present the mean net affect score for the product ads (averaged across the American Airlines and Advil ads), the positive political ads, and the negative political ads (see Figure 3). Clearly, the product ads elicited more positive reactions than political ads with the advantage being especially pronounced in the case of negative political ads. The product ads elicited a preponderance of positive reactions (a mean value of .14 on a –1 to +1 scale). At the other extreme, negative political ads elicited generally negative reactions (a mean of -.15). Positive ads were rated in-between, the mean score of -.04 indicating a virtual tie between positive and negative reactions.