Viewers’ mental models of political messages: Toward a theory of the semantic processing of television

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The battle of political commercials is a battle over meaning. Political spots struggle to realign the meanings of candidates, issues, and groups constructed in the mind of the voter. To fully grasp the function and effectiveness of the political commercial, it is necessary to better understand the interaction between the commercial and the voter. Viewed in cognitive terms, the struggle over the candidate’s image is the struggle over the semantic processing of political commercials by voters. In the mind of the viewer the imagery of the political commercial is represented by networks of semantic nodes and markers radiating from a central concept, the candidate. In other words, viewers construct mental models Oohnson-Laird, 1983) of information presented in the commercials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTelevision and Political Advertising
Subtitle of host publicationVolume I: Psychological Processes
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages27-89
Number of pages63
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9781135437220
ISBN (Print)0805806555, 9780805806557
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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