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The European Journal of Communication Research

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

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Volume 43, Issue 2


The effects of visual isolation on the perception of scandalized politicians

Christian von Sikorski / Mark Ludwig
Published Online: 2018-01-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2017-0054


In their depictions of scandalized politicians, journalists frequently use news images that highlight the (alleged) isolation of politicians. To test how this way of portraying political actors affects a recipient’s attitudes and his/her guilt perception toward such a scandalized politician an experiment was conducted. All participants were exposed to the identical textual information. However, the visual information (degree of isolation) was systematically altered. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) showed that participants – exposed to a visual highlighting the isolation of the politician – evaluated the politician in a significantly more negative way and rated other recipients’ perceptions of the politician’s level of guilt to be higher.

Keywords: media effects; visual framing; political scandals; attitudes

About the article

Published Online: 2018-01-30

Published in Print: 2018-06-26

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages 235–257, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2017-0054.

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