Department of Communication Studies
The politics of emotion: News media attention, emotional responses, and participation during the 2004 U.S. presidential election
This study examines the mediating role of emotions toward presidential candidates in the relationship between news media attention and political campaign participation. Numerous studies have investigated the effect of news media attention on political participatory behavior. Research in this area, however, focused mostly on cognitive variables as influences on people's behavior. We hypothesize that emotional reactions to candidates can mediate the effect of news media attention on political campaign participation. Using the 2004 American National Election Studies, we test this hypothesis employing structural equation modeling. Results show that both news media attention and the amount of emotions toward candidates are positively associated with political campaign participation. The relationship between TV news attention and political participation is fully mediated by the emotions toward both candidates, whereas the relationship between newspaper attention and political participation is partially mediated. In other words, TV news only has an indirect effect on political participation through emotional reactions toward candidates.
Source Publication Title
Mass Communication and Society
Taylor & Francis
Link to Publisher's Edition
Namkoong, Kang, Kai Fung Fung, and Dietram A. Scheufele. "The politics of emotion: News media attention, emotional responses, and participation during the 2004 U.S. presidential election." Mass Communication and Society 15.1 (2012): 25-45.