Campaigning for Hearts and Minds: How Emotional Appeals in Political Ads Work

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University of Chicago Press, 2006 - Political Science - 280 pages
3 Reviews
It is common knowledge that televised political ads are meant to appeal to voters' emotions, yet little is known about how or if these tactics actually work. Ted Brader's innovative book is the first scientific study to examine the effects that these emotional appeals in political advertising have on voter decision-making. 

At the heart of this book are ingenious experiments, conducted by Brader during an election, with truly eye-opening results that upset conventional wisdom. They show, for example, that simply changing the music or imagery of ads while retaining the same text provokes completely different responses. He reveals that politically informed citizens are more easily manipulated by emotional appeals than less-involved citizens and that positive "enthusiasm ads" are in fact more polarizing than negative "fear ads." Black-and-white video images are ten times more likely to signal an appeal to fear or anger than one of enthusiasm or pride, and the emotional appeal triumphs over the logical appeal in nearly three-quarters of all political ads.

Brader backs up these surprising findings with an unprecedented survey of emotional appeals in contemporary political campaigns. Politicians do set out to campaign for the hearts and minds of voters, and, for better or for worse, it is primarily through hearts that minds are won. Campaigning for Hearts and Minds will be indispensable for anyone wishing to understand how American politics is influenced by advertising today.
  

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Review: Campaigning for Hearts and Minds: How Emotional Appeals in Political Ads Work

User Review  - Jor-dahn - Goodreads

This is the best work I've read on American political ads, largely because it steps away from the literature of American political ads. It's blend of psychology and politics is very dense, but ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Ted Brader is assistant professor of political science and faculty associate at the Center for Political Studies of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

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