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What I don’t know (concretely) won’t hurt me. On the effects of vaguely formulated political statements

Leidecker-Sandmann, Melanie ORCID iD icon; Thomas, Fabian

Abstract (englisch):

Communicating vague political statements is a common communication strategy adopted by political parties and politicians (e.g., Bull and Mayer, 1993; Harris, 1991; Maurer, 2009). Although there have been numerous theoretical studies on the advantages and disadvantages of such a communication strategy, so far, the real effects have hardly been analyzed empirically.
As part of a quantitative online experiment, we analyze whether and under what conditions the communication of a vague political statement positively or negatively influences the evaluation of the politician using it.
Our study builds on the theory of political ambiguity (e.g., Shepsle, 1972; Page, 1976) and on the theory of equivocation (Bavelas et al., 1990) as well as on existing empirical findings (e.g., Reinemann and Maurer, 2005; Rosen and Einhorn, 1972; Patton and Smith, 1980; Rudd, 1989).
Our experiment was conducted with a non-representative – however not mere student – sample of the German population (n=550). The setup was a one-way between-subject-design. As our independent variable, we used the formulation of a vague versus a concrete political statement. As moderating variables, we used the issue at hand (controversially discussed vs. ... mehr

Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technikzukünfte (ITZ)
Publikationstyp Vortrag
Publikationsdatum 08.09.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator KITopen-ID: 1000137365
Veranstaltung 8th ECREA European Communication Conference "Communication and trust: building safe, sustainable and promising futures" (ECREA 2021), Online, 06.09.2021 – 09.09.2021
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