Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

807

Date

2013

Date of Award

4-18-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Political Science

Committee Chair

Eric Groenendyk

Committee Member

Sharon Stanley

Committee Member

Heather Larsen-Price

Abstract

I propose an addition to the existing literature: "issue-free cues." I hypothesized that candidates are able to brand themselves with issue-free cues (things like flags, poses, family, etc.) and that these cues can cause voters to attribute positions to the candidate that do not necessarily line up with the candidate's actual postions, or these cues could activate particular beliefs held by voters, rendering those beliefs more infuential in their decision-making than they otherwise would be. Or, finally, they could use symbolic imagery to produce an emotional reaction that motivates voters to make their vote choice in a less logical manner. I tested the effects of visual stimuli on candidate selection, finding that candidates can, with even a small, subtle cue such as the background of a picture, determine which issues drive the decision-making of the very voters who are supposed to be holding them accountable.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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