Format of Original
Pacific and Asian Communication Association
Political advertising is one of the dominant media for reaching voters. Previous metaanalyses (Allen & Burrell, 2002; Lau, Sigelman, Heldman, & Babbitt, 1999) found little or no net benefit to negative versus positive ads. However, this finding does not reveal whether ads have effects (both or neither could be persuasive). A meta-analysis revealed that political spots increased issue knowledge, influenced perceptions of the candidates’ character, altered attitudes, and affected candidate preference; influenced agenda-setting, and altered vote likelihood (turnout). One moderator variable was detected: The effect size for learning was larger for studies of students than non-students; however, the effect size for both sub-groups was significant. On the other hand, political ads had larger effects on attitudes for non-students than students.
Benoit, William L.; Leshner, Glenn M.; and Chattopadhyay, Sumana, "A Meta-Analysis of Political Advertising" (2007). College of Communication Faculty Research and Publications. 9.
Accepted version. Human Communication, Volume 10, No. 4 (2007). DOI. © 2007 Pacific and Asian Communication Association. Used with permission.
The published version of the journal article is also available here.