CANDIDATE IMAGE FORMATION
The Role of Information Processing
THE PURPOSE of much television political advertising is to create a favorable candidate image in the eyes of the voters. The manner in which political commercials influence candidate image, however, is not clear. The transactional model of mass communication effects holds that effects can be best understood by combining knowledge of message characteristics with an understanding of orientations of the audience members to those messages (McLeod & Becker, 1981). The present research fits such a transactional model, exploring the roles of both message characteristics (i.e., commercial type) and audience orientations (i.e., motivation) in candidate image formation. In addition, the contingent role of audience information processing is investigated.
This research employs a schema approach to information processing. Schemata are defined as cognitive representations of generic concepts. They include the attributes that constitute the concept and relationship among the attributes (Rumelhart & Ortony, 1977). For example, a schema for politicians might include the knowledge that they are elected; they are usually male; they are middle-aged or older; they have opinions on defense spending, etc. Schemata guide information processing by de
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Publication information: Book title: New Perspectives on Political Advertising. Contributors: Lynda Lee Kaid - Editor, Dan Nimmo - Editor, Keith R. Sanders - Editor. Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press. Place of publication: Carbondale. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 235.
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