Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate

Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate

by Stephen Ansolabehere
     
 

Political advertising has been called the worst cancer in American society. Ads cost millions, and yet the entire campaign season is now filled with nasty and personal attacks. In this landmark six-year study, two of the nation's leading political scientists show exactly how cancerous the ad spot has become. 16 illustrations.  See more details below

Overview

Political advertising has been called the worst cancer in American society. Ads cost millions, and yet the entire campaign season is now filled with nasty and personal attacks. In this landmark six-year study, two of the nation's leading political scientists show exactly how cancerous the ad spot has become. 16 illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As they enter an election year, most voters are bracing themselves for yet another round of harsh, negative campaign ads. And although the average citizen decries the use of such ads, political consultants consistently employ them. In this book by two political scientists, we learn why and how negative ads are effective. Using four years of controlled experiments in which real voters viewed professionally designed campaign commercials-both positive and negative-the authors detected a number of important results. Campaign advertising, they conclude, is persuasive but not manipulative; voters do learn from ads, regardless of their length, because they simplify the task of voting. Exposure to advertising also reinforces potential partisan sentiments. The most disturbing findings, however, are that negative ads suppress voter turnout by discouraging nonpartisan or independent voters and that such ads increase voters' cynicism about elections and their own ability to affect the political system. Despite the sophisticated methodology, the authors' writing is accessible to the informed reader. Their book is essential for any serious student of American elections and is likely to be the focus of much discussion during the coming election.-Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684822846
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
01/01/1996
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.93(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >