Effectiveness of Politicians' Soft Campaign on Twitter Versus TV: Cognitive and Experiential Routes


Corresponding author: Eun-Ju Lee; e-mail: eunju0204@snu.ac.kr


An experiment (N = 183) investigated (a) if individuals respond differently to politicians' Twitter messages and their TV interview, and if so, (b) what cognitive and experiential processes account for such differences. Participants viewed either a segment of a TV talk show, wherein a female politician conversed with the hosts about her personal life and political philosophy, or her Twitter page containing identical messages. Exposure to her TV interview (vs. Twitter page) heightened social presence, inducing stronger parasocial interaction (PSI) and more favorable candidate evaluations among those lower in need for cognition (NFC), but the opposite was true for high NFCs. The candidate's TV interview prompted less source-related thoughts, but more counterarguing among those holding unfavorable attitudes, thereby lowering PSI.