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Media Content and Political Behavior in Observational Research: A Critical Assessment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2015


This article discusses possible issues of how media content and exposure were linked in previous research. It argues that the original conclusions of the article ‘Who's Afraid of Conflict? The Mobilizing Effect of Conflict Framing in Campaign News’ do not hold due to the chosen operationalization. It also demonstrates that using the proposed methodology, both exposure to conflictual and non-conflictual news yield the same substantive conclusion. In addition to re-evaluating the role of conflict, the article contributes to the discussion on how to integrate media and individual-level measures in the study of electoral behavior.

© Cambridge University Press 2015 

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University of Southern Denmark (emails, As both authors contributed equally, please address correspondence to both. We are grateful for comments by Martin Ejnar Hansen, Christian Schnaudt, Federico Vegetti and anonymous reviewers at the journal. Data replication sets are available at: and online appendices at


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