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Negative political campaigning: Evidence from the psychological literature: does it work?

  • Nicholas Beecroft (a1)
Extract

It seems to be increasingly taken for granted by politicians and commentators that it is more effective to attack one's opponent than to promote a positive vision in order to sway voters in an election campaign. This article examines the relevant evidence in the psychological literature to see if this belief is justified. This includes the evidence on information processing, emotion and the specific effects of negative campaigning.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Anderson, N. H. (1965) Averaging versus adding as a stimulus-combination rule in impression formation. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70, 394400.
Fiske, S. T. (1980) Attention and weight in person perception: the impact of negative and extreme behaviour. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 889906.
Garramore, G. M. (1984) Voter response to negative political ads. Journalism Quarterly, 61, 250259.
Garramore, G. M. (1985) The effects of negative political advertising: the role of sponsor and rebuttal. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 29, 147159.
Hamilton, P. L. & Zanna, M. P. (1972). Differential weighting of favourable and unfavourable attributes in impression formation. Journal of Experimental Research in Personality, 6, 204212.
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Pentony, J. F. (1995). The effect of negative political campaigning on voting, semantic differential and thought listing. Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality, 10, 631644.
Richey, M. H., McClelland, I. & Shimkunas, A. M. (1967) Relative influence of positive and negative information in impression formation and persistence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 322327.
Roddy, B. L. & Garramore, G. M. (1988) Appeals and strategies of negative political advertising. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 32, 415427.
Sherif, M. & Sherif, C. W. (1967) Attitudes as the individual's own categories: the social judgement approach to attitude change. In Attitude, Ego Involvement and Change (Sherif, C. W. & Sherif, M.), pp. 105139. New York: Wiley.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Negative political campaigning: Evidence from the psychological literature: does it work?

  • Nicholas Beecroft (a1)
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