The Politics of Emotion: News Media Attention, Emotional Responses, and Participation During the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election

Kang Namkoong*, Timothy K F FUNG, Dietram A. Scheufele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the mediating role of emotions toward presidential candidates in the relationship between news media attention and political campaign participation. Numerous studies have investigated the effect of news media attention on political participatory behavior. Research in this area, however, focused mostly on cognitive variables as influences on people's behavior. We hypothesize that emotional reactions to candidates can mediate the effect of news media attention on political campaign participation.Using the 2004 American National Election Studies, we test this hypothesis employing structural equation modeling. Results show that both news media attention and the amount of emotions toward candidates are positively associated with political campaign participation. The relationship between TV news attention and political participation is fully mediated by the emotions toward both candidates, whereas the relationship between newspaper attention and political participation is partially mediated. In other words, TV news only has an indirect effect on political participation through emotional reactions toward candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-45
Number of pages21
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

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