Beyond Opinion Leaders: How Attempts to Persuade Foster Political Awareness and Campaign Learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The number of Americans who report engaging in interpersonal persuasion during elections has drastically increased over the past decade. While past studies have demonstrated the impact of such proselytizing on vote choice, the author finds substantial evidence that it may also have larger democratic benefits, both for those attempting to persuade and for those whom they choose to target. Data from the 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey suggest that (a) attempting to persuade contributes to people's ability to give reasons in support of both their own preferred candidate and the opposing candidate, and (b) persuasive conversation is a powerful channel for the spread of political information from the more engaged to the less engaged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-374
Number of pages22
JournalCommunication Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • interpersonal communication
  • persuasion attempts
  • political knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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