This dissertation advances our knowledge of how citizens form and change political opinions in response to elite communications. Drawing on a wide range of experimental and survey data, the dissertation provides a detailed psychological account of how the interpretations and arguments promoted by political elites influence public opinion formation. It is shown that political messages can affect opinion in multiple ways that are contingent upon individuals’ political values and awareness. Moreover, the dissertation examines the role played by political parties in mobilizing and shaping political preferences. For virtually the first time, effects of frames are studied by taking into account which political parties promote them. The findings point out the possibilities as well as limits of political parties as opinion leaders. This work will be of interest to all who care about public opinion, political parties, media effects, and the practice of liberal democracy.
Udgivet juni 2008
Ophavsretten tilhører Politica. Materialet må ikke bruges eller distribueres i kommercielt øjemed.