The interaction of priming and framing in the mass media
Gross, Wendy Tegge
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This research examines the influence of framing and priming theories of the mass media taken together, asking whether the two phenomena can interact to produce different outcomes. Most extant research on media effects looks at the theories independently without recognizing the potential or an interactive effect. Priming theory states that news attention to a particular issue increases the salience of it, encouraging the incorporation of that subject into judgments of public officials; framing theory argues that the content of a story influences the effect that it has on the audience. To date, however, little work has been conducted incorporating the ideas of the theories with one another. In this work, I ask whether the media’s frame influences public opinion of policy issues and encourages the incorporation of the issue into evaluations of public officials. That is, do differing portrayals of the same story influence individuals’ judgments of public figures?