Whites more supportive of DP in every argument condition.Blacks more responsive to arguments against the death penalty than whites. Whites aren’t receptive to either argument. In fact, not only do whites appear resistant to the innocent argument, create no significant movement among whites, their support for the death penalty actually increases in the racial argument condition. Not only do they reject it, on average, about 12% move strongly in the direction opposite to the argument.
1. PS 475PeffleyMEDIA EFFECTS
2. Media Effects, Definitions Persuasion (attitude change) Reinforcement Learning Agenda setting Priming FramingHistorical note: Iyengar did some path-breaking work on subtle effectslike agenda-setting, priming and framing, but because of the loose andstrange way he defined these terms, it took others a decade to sort outthe differences.
3. Definitions (excludes learning and reinforcement) Agenda setting: The amount of news coverage (e.g., # of stories) an issue (or candidate) receives influences the degree to which the public thinks the issue or candidate is important. E.g., “It’s the economy stupid” in 1992 election. Focus on “what people think about“ vs. “what people think.” Priming: Changes in the number of stories about an issue influence the criteria used to evaluate a political leader (An extension of agenda-setting). E.g., “it’s the economy stupid” low H.W. Bush approval ratings. (Issue or Emphasis) Framing: Changes in the content of a story about an issue influence the criteria used to evaluate the issue. Framing works by altering the importance individuals attach to certain beliefs that shape political attitudes. Influences how people think about an issue. Media frames Framing effects E.g., Headlines, pictures, etc. Interpret meaning of story. Direct Persuasion (attitude change): works by altering actual belief content. E.g., Negative ads negative evaluations of a candidate.
4. Agenda setting, Time-series • News coverage more important than objective reality in shaping perceptions of important problems. • Change in the no. of news stories on unemployment a better predictor of change in % naming unemployment as the most important problem than the actual unemployment rate.
5. Agenda setting is a function of newscoverage, which may or may not be related toreal world events Public continued to rate crime as the most important problem for several years after the actual crime rate began to fall.
6. Agenda setting, ExperimentalSubjects’ watching edited news broadcasts with more stories on anissue rated that issue as more important.
7. Priming: a political consequenceof agenda setting Priming vs. Persuasion: Priming occurs when an individual changes the criteria on which he or she bases an overall evaluation (e.g., basing the evaluation on defense or energy), whereas persuasion involves altering what an individual thinks of the president on a given dimension (e.g., does the president do a good or poor job on defense policy?). Priming does not involve changing perceptions of how well the president is doing on an issue—it simply alters the issues on which individuals base their overall evaluations.
8. Percentage 20 100 50 0 30 60 70 90 10 40 80 2/10-12/01 4/4-5/01 6/14-18/01 9/11-12/01 9/20-23/01 9/11 12/7-10/01 1/15-17/02 2/24-26/02 4/28-5/1/02 5/19-20/02 7/8-9/02 7/22-23/02 9/2-5/02 10/3-6/02 11/20-24/02 1/19-22/03 2/10-12/03 3/4-5/03 Iraq 3/15-16/03 3/2 0/03 PANEL Invades 3/22/2003 3/24/2003 3/26-27/03 4/11-13/03 5/9-12/03 general approval ratings 8/26-28/03 9/28-10/1/03 11/10-12/03 1/12-15/04 2/24-27/04 3/30-4/1/04 5/20-23/04 7/11-15/04 9/12-16/04 10/1-3/04 his job as President? 10/14-17/04 11/18-21/04 2/24-28/05 4/13-16/05 6/10-15/05 7/29-8/2/05 9/6-7/05 10/3-5/05 12/2-6/05 1/20-25/06 3/9-12/06 4/28-30/06 6/10-11/06 8/11-13/06How can priming explain the fluctuations in George Bush’s approval? 9/15-19/06 10/27-31/06 Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling 12/8-10/06 1/18-21/07 2/23-27/07 3/26-27/07 Surge Priming example: How priming influenced G.W. Bush’s 4/20-24/07 6/26-28/07
9. Evaluations of Iraq Policy Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq? 90 Saddam Statue Bush Toppled 80 launches invasion Saddam 70 captured 60Percentage 50 40 30 Abu Ghraib 20 10 Iraq Study Group Report 0
10. Politicians attempt to prime the issues wherethey are strongest: Issue Emphasis in Bush’s2002 State of the Union Address
11. Impact of watching Bush’s 2002 State of theUnion Address, Experiment People who watched the speech were much more likely to base their general approval of Bush on terrorism approval and leadership.
12. Who is primed? (Experiment)
13. Who is primed? (Survey)
14. The limits of priming effects: Whois primed?(Experiment, Miller and Krosnick) To what extent are citizens mindless “victims” of the media’s “primordial power?” Many people aren’t influenced, including: People with little exposure to the news People with little trust in the news media
15. Politicians attempt to prime and counter-prime: Joseph Biden in a Democratic debate said of Rudy Giuliani: “a Giuliani speech is ‘9/11’ + subject + verb.”
16. Framing: News Frames (the stimulus) Definitions: Frames act like plots or story lines, lending coherence to otherwise discrete pieces of information. Frames organize the presentation of facts and opinion in a news story. How Journalists frame a story: through use of headlines, well-placed quote or soundbite, visual images or photos, metaphors, caricatures, and catchphrases all may carry frames, especially useful for TV. Frames reduce a complex issue down to 1 or 2 central points. Note: this is the stimulus, not the effect
17. Examples of frames, news frames Estate tax or Death tax? Poor people or welfare? Process, strategic, or game frame vs. policy frame Episodic versus Thematic Frames Clinton’s affair: a personal matter between him & his family, or an impeachable offense? Decrease in Medicare spending: A reduction in increases in Medicare spending or a cut in the program? News stories on Iraqi war: Casualty frames relative to enemy killed? An attack by insurgents, Al Qaida, civil war, domestic violence, Bush popularity
18. Framing Effects Versus other effects: Agenda-setting and priming demonstrate how mere media attention can subtly influence public opinion. Framing focuses more on media content than mere coverage of a problem.
19. Framing Effects, ExperimentNelson et al. Tom Nelson and others found different emphasis frames in local TV news when KKK was threatening to march in Columbus, OH Free speech: KKK and protestors were determined to get out their message Threat of violence: KKK rallies provoke violence between a hate group and protestors
20. News frames on civil liberties issue New frame influences emphasis and toleranceFree speech a more important Public order a more importantdeterminant of political tolerance determinant of political tolerance(should KKK be allowed to hold a (should KKK be allowed to hold arally?)more support for rally. rally?)less support for rally.
21. Framing affects the weight given to differentbeliefs underlying political tolerance Political tolerance (i.e., allowing the expression of ideas one finds offensive) is based on both support for free speech and support for public order. News frames influence the salience or weight of free speech or public order, and thus influence the level of political tolerance.
22. News frames Belief Importance Tolerance
23. Katrina news stories: Framing with photos Caption says he has just Caption says they are shown been "looting a grocery "after finding bread and store." soda from a local grocery store."
24. The limits of issue framing To what extent are citizens mindless “victims” of the media’s “primordial power”? Framing effects are important but are not so mindless. Predispositions: People can reject a frame that’s inconsistent with their predispositions Source: Frames from less credible sources (e.g., The National Enquirer) have less impact than those from credible sources (e.g., New York Times) Competitive Framing: Frames of equal strength are neutralize each other. Inoculation: use a weak counter- frame to bolster the impact of the stronger frame.
25. Death Penalty Experiment: Aggregate Results Baseline Condition Racial Argument Innocent Argument (No Argument) Some people say * that Some people say * that the death penalty is unfair the death penalty is unfair because most of the people because too many who are executed are innocent people are being African-Americans. executed. Do you favor or Do you favor or oppose Do you favor or oppose oppose the death the death penalty for the death penalty for penalty for persons persons convicted of persons convicted of convicted of murder? murder? murder?Whites 65.96% b 77% b 64.28% b % Favor - +12% Favora b - .70% Favor BaselineBlacks 50% 38% 34% % Favor - -12% Favora -16% Favor Baseline a Difference across baseline and argument condition is statistically significant (≤.05) b Difference across race of respondent is statistically significant (≤.05)
26. Racial argument against the death penalty actuallyincreases support for capital punishment among Whitesbecause they reject a frame that runs against their priorbeliefs. Among Whites, emphasizing the racial unfairness argument against the death penalty creates a backlash of greater support for the death penalty because it runs against many Whites’ beliefs that the justice system is color blind. Among Blacks, emphasizing racial unfairness moves them toward reduced support for capital punishment.
27. Comparison of Some Media EffectsMedia Effect Type of media Specific Examples Influence effect varies by:Agenda setting Increase in the Importance of issue “It’s the economy, stupid” Media trust amount of news or candidate in 1992 Political knowledge coverage (e.g., # of changes stories)Priming Changes in the Criteria used to “It’s the economy, stupid” number of stories evaluate a political in 1992 about an issue leader low approval for H.W. Bush (Political extension of agenda setting)(Issue or Emphasis) Changes in the Criteria used to E.g., Headlines, pictures, Predispositions,Framing content (frames) of a evaluate the issue etc. Interpret “meaning” Source story about an issue of story. Competing Frames (Game vs Policy frame, Episodic vs Thematic frame)Direct Persuasion Changes in the Changes in beliefs Negative ads negative Source, Message,(attitude change): content of a message or attitudes evaluations of a candidate Audience Characteristics
28. Self-Selection & Selection bias The problem for Non-experimental designs: causal inference People are self-selecting the media they choose to consume. Newspaper readers tend to be more educated (and thus politically informed) than TV watchers because newspapers largely assumes greater political information among readers, whereas TV doesn’t. Problem with causal interpretation: An association between watching TV and having lower political knowledge is due more to self-selection than exposure to TV. One solution is to conduct an experiment where we expose people to same content but in different mediums (print and TV). The problem for Experimental designs: generalizability Random assignment to TV vs. print “fixes” the above problem. But creates a different type of self-selection problem: Iyengar (Arceneaux): In the real world, people select different shows and different media. By randomly assigning people to different exposure treatments, we may be exaggerating the causal impact of the treatment in the real world.