The “big two” in political communication: The effects of attacking and defending politicians’ leadership and morality in two European countries. Special issue: The Big Two in Social Judgement.

Bertolotti, Mauro and Catellani, Patrizia and Douglas, Karen and Sutton, Robbie M. (2013) The “big two” in political communication: The effects of attacking and defending politicians’ leadership and morality in two European countries. Special issue: The Big Two in Social Judgement. Social Psychology, 44 . pp. 117-128. ISSN 1864-9335. (Full text available)

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Abstract

In two experimental studies (conducted in Britain and Italy), participants read about a politician answering to leadership- versus morality-related allegations using either downward counterfactuals (“things could have been worse, if…”) or upward counterfactuals (“things could have been better, if…”). Downward messages increased the perception of the politician’s leadership, while both downward and upward messages increased morality perception. Political sophistication moderated the effect of message direction, with downward messages increasing perceived morality in low sophisticates and upward messages increasing perceived morality in high sophisticates. In the latter group, the acknowledgement of a responsibility-taking intent mediated morality judgment. Results were consistent across different countries, highlighting previously unexplored effects of communication on the perception of the “Big Two” dimensions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: social perception; counterfactual communication; political sophistication.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2012 10:23
Last Modified: 16 May 2014 14:08
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/31282 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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