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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Framing research has greatly advanced our understanding of how mass communication shapes public opinion and political behavior. However, the dominance of the framing concept has limited integration across different theoretical approaches and concepts like priming, belief change, and persuasion, leading to theoretical confusion and empirical sloppiness. This chapter proposes a way to integrate various approaches to media effects and obtain more coherent, cumulative knowledge on how mass communication shapes political opinion. First, it distinguishes framing from other concepts, most notably persuasion, using the expectancy-value model as a common framework. Second, it discusses the implications of this more rigorous conceptualization for research design and offers an example of an experiment disentangling emphasis framing and persuasive information. Third, it highlights promising avenues for mass communication research emphasizing competition, dynamics over time, and struggle between political parties as key features of democratic politics.

Keywords: framing, persuasion, priming, mass communication effects, public opinion, political opinion, political behavior, media effects, political parties, experiment

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