Gina M. Garramone Michigan State University
Michael E. Steele Ithaca College
Bruce Pinkleton Michigan State University
Recent work in political communication has begun to focus on the cognitive processes by which political message effects are achieved ( Garramone, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986; Garramone, Steele, Hogan, & Rifon, 1987; Graber, 1984; Kraus & Perloff, 1985; McLeod, Kosicki, Pan, & Allen, 1987; Steele, Garramone, & Hogan, 1988). By specifying the nature of these mediating processes, researchers hope to gain a greater understanding of the nature of political media effects ( Perloff & Kraus, 1985). One line of research in this area has investigated how both audience cognitive schemata and media message characteristics may affect the information processing and subsequent effects of political messages ( Garramone, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986; Garramone et al., 1987; Steele et al., 1988). This chapter further elaborates these relationships by investigating the roles of cognitive schemata and candidate characteristics in determining political advertising effects.
Dramatic increases in the proportion of campaign costs devoted to televised political advertising are well-documented, suggesting an increasingly important role of such messages in American politics ( Shyles, 1986). Contributing to the importance of such messages is the fact that voters claim to learn from them both issue stands and candidate image