The effects of visual images in political ads: Experimental testing of distortions and visual literacy

Citation
G. Noggle et Ll. Kaid, The effects of visual images in political ads: Experimental testing of distortions and visual literacy, SOC SCI Q, 81(4), 2000, pp. 913-927
Citations number
41
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
913 - 927
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200012)81:4<913:TEOVII>2.0.ZU;2-O
Abstract
Objective. Scholars and media observers alike have bemoaned the deleterious effects of television imagery in political spot ads. In light of the incre ased capability of technology to distort the messages in political spots, t his study tests whether or not distortions in visual imagery in televised p olitical ads have any identifiable effect on voters. Methods. The study use s experimental tests of distorted spots and their nondistorted counterparts to determine effects of distortions. Results. Results show that the comput er and video manipulations often used in spots do affect voters in predicte d ways: Spots with distortions result in higher evaluations and vote likeli hood for the sponsoring candidate and lower evaluations and vote likelihood for the opponent. Surprisingly, the visual literacy level of the voter did not mitigate these effects. Conclusions. These findings suggest that new t echnologies are making it possible for candidates to enhance their own imag es and to decrease those of the opponent in ways that may be damaging to th e goals of informed decision making in the electoral process.