Document Type




Format of Original

16 p.

Publication Date



Pacific and Asian Communication Association

Source Publication

Human Communication


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.


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.

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