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Making Sense of Messages: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Candidate Image and Issue Stance

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abstract
Tension exists between scholars attempting to understand the relationship between candidate image and candidate issue. Especially given a lack of theory relating to how these social constructs are perceived by audiences trying to make electoral choices, there is a need for clarification of our understanding of image and issue as they relate to one another. With this in mind, this thesis seeks to understand how exposure to information about one of these social constructs helps inform our understanding of the other. Does exposure to candidate image information help voters know about a candidate’s policy stances? Does exposure to information about a candidate’s platforms help voters know about candidate persona? Why do we perceive to have comprehensive knowledge about a candidate after only reading a brief story about their family? These central questions guide the research described here. The findings of this research suggest that participants believe they know about a candidate’s image when only exposed to issue information, and that participants believe they know about a candidate’s platforms when only exposed to image information. Furthermore, this study found that when lacking information, participants inferred what they did not know to build a more comprehensive schema for the given candidate.
subject
Image
Issue
Communication
Candidate Assessment
contributor
Luechtefeld, Sean (author)
Krcmar, Marina (committee chair)
Louden, Allan (committee member)
Wiese, Danielle (committee member)
date
2009-05-08T17:07:48Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:57:49Z (accessioned)
2009-05-08T17:07:48Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:57:49Z (available)
2009-05-08T17:07:48Z (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14719 (uri)
language
en_US (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
rights
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide. (accessRights)
title
Making Sense of Messages: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Candidate Image and Issue Stance
type
Thesis

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