USES AND PERCEPTIONS OF
An Application of Q-Technique
Michael W. Mansfield
THE QUESTION of how people form perceptions of candidates through political advertising is one that has only recently been addressed from the perspective of motivation for viewing. The uses and gratifications paradigm, based on the concept that audience members are active, goal-directed consumers of media, has been concerned with various aspects of political communication, one of which is relationship of viewing motivations to political effects of the media (McLeod & Becker, 1981). While we do not view the process by which images are formed as an effect of viewing motivation, one might question whether persons who view political advertisements for certain reasons might differ from persons viewing for other reasons in the way they attend to the ads and in the information they then take into account when they construct images of the candidate.
Nimmo and Savage (1976) argue that voter images of candidates are neither stimulus-determined nor perceiver-determined but are a function of transactions between the "characteristics people project on the candidates and the qualities he tries to project to them" (p. 89). The images