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Priming effects during the financial crisis: accessibility and applicability mechanisms behind government approval

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2014

Adam Shehata*
Information Technology and Media – Media and Communication, Sundsvall, Sweden
Kajsa Falasca
Information Technology and Media – Media and Communication, Sundsvall, Sweden


This study investigates priming effects during the global financial crisis that erupted in September 2008. Using two longitudinal data sources on public opinion dynamics in Sweden between 2007 and 2010, we find no evidence of a basic priming hypothesis. Drawing upon the distinction between accessibility and applicability mechanisms, however, additional analysis indicates that priming of economic considerations was moderated by citizens’ attributions of responsibility for current economic developments. These results support the notion of priming as a two-step process, whereby heavy news coverage of the financial crisis increases the accessibility of economic considerations among the audience, but whether these considerations are used in government approval assessments depends on their perceived applicability as well.

Research Article
Copyright © European Consortium for Political Research 2014 

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