CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATION AND ATTITUDE CHANGE: A MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS1

Authors


  • 1

    An earlier draft of this article was presented to the Political Communication Division at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 23–26, 1975. The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of the Michigan Democratic Party and Communication Research Services, Inc., without whom this paper would not habe been possible. The authors would also like to thank Joseph Woelfel for his comments on this paper.

Abstract

The processes by which political attitude changes occur have been examined extensively from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives. In this study, the authors attempt to extend the traditional balance formulation to a continuously-scaled least-squares paradigm in which change occurs as a function of accumulated information. A longitudinal tracking of the changes in attitude toward parties, candidates, and issues is used to make predictions about subsequent attitudes and consequent voting behavior. Possible communicative influences from a political campaign are explored with regard to their impact on changes in concept relations. Analysis of political changes hypotheses and a critical examination of the methodology are used as the basis for suggesting improvements in campaign communication research.

Ancillary