Title page for ETD etd-05052007-154607

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Moldoff, Jason A.
URN etd-05052007-154607
Title A Tale of Two Turnouts in 2004: Effects of News Frame Valence and Substance on College Students' Levels of Trust, Cynicism, and Political Information Efficacy
Degree Master of Arts
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Williams, Andrew Paul Committee Chair
Denton, Robert E. Jr. Committee Member
Tedesco, John C. Committee Member
  • Political Information Efficacy
  • Framing
  • Valence
  • Youth Voting
  • Substance
Date of Defense 2007-03-20
Availability unrestricted
Following the 2004 U.S. presidential election, articles from the Associated Press and major news organizations came to very different conclusions regarding the impact of young voters on the election outcome. While some media outlets framed the youth turnout as a success, others framed it as a failure. This experimental study (N=237) utilized a pre-test/post-test design to build upon research on framing theory and political information efficacy theory. Articles about youth voter turnout in the 2004 election served as the stimuli to test the effects of news frame valence and frame substance on college student respondents' levels of trust, cynicism, and political information efficacy. Results indicated that while valence and level of substance of a news article may affect political attitudes, changes between experimental groups were not significant. Cynicism was negatively correlated with political information efficacy and trust. Attitudinal measures accounted for a significant amount of variance in respondents' interest in the 2006 campaign as well as perceived importance of both political engagement and youth voter turnout in past and future campaigns.

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