Political parties, motivated reasoning, and issue framing effects

  • Slothuus R
  • De Vreese C
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Abstract

Issue framing is one of the most important means of elite influence on public opinion. However, we know almost nothing about how citizens respond to frames in what is possibly the most common situation in politics: when frames are sponsored by political parties. Linking theory on motivated reasoning with framing research, we argue not only that citizens should be more likely to follow a frame if it is promoted by "their" party; we expect such biases to be more pronounced on issues at the center of party conflicts and among the more politically aware. Two experiments embedded in a nationally representative survey support these arguments. Our findings revise current knowledge on framing, parties, and public opinion.

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Authors

  • Rune Slothuus

  • Claes H. De Vreese

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