Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Communication Studies

Advisor(s)

Dr. Lindsey Harvell

Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine the impact of negative political advertising on a young voters’ emotions and his/her decision to vote in the next election. This was done through the lens of the theory of cultivation analysis. The theory stated that the more television a person watches, the more likely he/she is to believe what he/she sees is reality. Using a cross-sectional survey, 324 participants viewed one of four political ads or a control group ad. Although no significant evidence found that negative political ads would stop people from voting, some significant evidence suggested that negative ads demobilize voters and evoke negative emotions, which could affect their desire to vote in the next election.

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