Confirmation and the Effects of Valenced Political Advertising: A Field Experiment
There are ongoing questions in the literature and in the field about why, in spite of voter dislike, negative advertising continues to get widespread usage in politics. In a field experiment that assessed responses to actual ads shortly before the 2004 U.S. presidential election, we found that negative advertising produced more critical responses than positive advertising even for the voters' favored candidate. Yet, our findings suggest that the effects of negative advertising are multidimensional; four different effects-reinforcement, backlash, defensive reactance, and position change-were identified. We discuss the costs and potential returns from these effects and the limitations of this study, and we propose directions for future research. (c) 2007 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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