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Title:It's About Time: The Dynamics of Information Processing in Political Campaigns
Author(s):Mitchell, Dona-Gene
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mondak, Jeffery J.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Abstract:In many U.S. elections, voters are exposed to relatively small amounts of information at any given time, but campaigns, and thus information exposure, unfold over the course of several weeks. It follows that one fruitful avenue in exploring candidate evaluation would involve focus on how voters respond to, combine and utilize information that is encountered over the course of a full electoral campaign. Although many theoretical frameworks for the study of candidate evaluation recognize the significance of dynamic depictions, no past research has combined control over the information environment with attention to information exposure over the course of a multi-week campaign. To enable improved study of the dynamic formation of candidate evaluation, I develop a series of panel experiments, with research conducted over a period of ten to twelve weeks. Empirical tests assess the temporal relationships between information exposure and information effects with respect to candidate evaluation. First, I test for the possibility that transient exposure to character and issue information produces transient effects. Second, I test for the impact of persistent exposure to one specific piece of information, partisanship. Third, and most critically, I test whether transient information exposure can produce enduring effects as represented in memory and via an on-line tally. Findings highlight the significance of partisanship and cognitive accessibility in candidate evaluation, and also reveal a limited role for on-line processes.
Issue Date:2008
Description:161 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3347454
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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