2011-2012 Political Sex Scandal

For this project we examined the effects of source, gender, response strategy, framing, and reputation on attitudes in the context of a political sex scandal.

There were six parts to the study. In part one, we tested the concept of “accelerators.” In this case, the candidate was either presented as a hypocrite or not. For part two, respondents received the news of the scandal from a mainstream journalist or a citizen journalist. For part three we manipulated the political affiliation of the candidate. For part four we manipulated the source (male, female, PAC) of the political email that the video respondents saw was linked from. In part five, we manipulated the framing of the scandal (morality vs. horserace). In part six, we manipulated the candidate’s reaction (no comment, denial, no comment change the subject, no comment attack the source).

The project is the first phase of a grant-funded study examining political scandal and public opinion.

Data were collected using a student sample in the spring and an adult sample in the summer.

Papers included:

“Changing the Conversation: Sex Scandals and Candidate Image Repair Strategies” David Wise, Keith Zuka, Michael Mirer and Leticia Bode. Presented at MAPOR 2012, Chicago.

“Hypocrisy’s Reach: The Impact of Political Scandal on Politician Evaluations, Journalist Evaluations, and the Perceived Third-Person Effect” D. Jasun Carr, Catasha Davis, David Coppini, David Wise, & Bryan McLaughlin.

“It’s Who You Don’t Know: Online Social Influence on Youtube” Matthew Barnidge, ByungGu Lee, Stephanie Jean Tsang, & D. Jasun Carr. Submitted to AEJMC, 2013, Washington D.C.