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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

4 Issues per year

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Volume 41, Issue 4


Attribute agenda setting and political advertising: (Dis)association effects, modality of presentation, and consequences for voting

Florian Arendt / Agnes Obereder
Published Online: 2016-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0024


We investigated the attribute agenda-setting (AAS) effect of political advertising. Individuals (N = 209) participated in an experiment and were exposed to six political print advertisements, which were manipulated to represent either a text-only, visual-only, or visual-plus-text version. As expected, we found that AAS led to association effects in which advertising content strengthened mental links between the party and advertised issues. However, we also present evidence for disassociation effects in which non-advertised issues were mentally delinked from the party. Importantly, AAS was dependent on the modality of presentation with information presented verbally plus visually (dual-modal presentation) eliciting the strongest effects. Furthermore, the strength of the AAS effect predicted voting intentions for that party, but only in those who rated the advertisements favorably. We discuss the present study’s contribution to the AAS literature with regard to association and disassociation effects, modality of presentation, and AAS’s consequences on voting.

Keywords: attribute agenda setting; political advertising; visuals; modality of presentation; voting

About the article

Published Online: 2016-11-24

Published in Print: 2016-11-23

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 41, Issue 4, Pages 421–443, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0024.

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©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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