Short-term communication effects or longstanding dispositions? the publics response to the financial crisis of 2008

Neil Malhotra, Yotam Margalit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Economic interests and party identification are two key, long-standing factors that shape peoples attitudes on government policy. Recent research has increasingly focused on how short-term communication effects (e.g., issue framing, media priming) also influence public opinion. Rather than posit that political attitudes reflect one source of considerations more than another, we argue that the two interact in a significant and theoretically predictable manner. To explore this claim, we examine the American publics attitudes towards the governments response to the financial crisis of 2008. We designed three survey experiments conducted on a large national sample, in which we examine the influence of (1) group-serving biases, (2) goal framing, and (3) threshold sensitivity. We find that economic standing and partisanship moderate the impact of communication effects as a function of their content. Our results demonstrate how peoples sensitivity to peripheral presentational features interacts with more fundamental dispositions in shaping attitudes on complex policy issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-867
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume72
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term communication effects or longstanding dispositions? the publics response to the financial crisis of 2008'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this