A Source Like Any Other? : Field and Survey Experiment Evidence on How Interest Groups Shape Public Opinion

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2021
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Wuttke, Alexander
Schoen, Harald
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Interest groups increasingly communicate with the public, yet we know little abouthow effective they are in shaping opinions. Since interest groups differ from otherpublic communicators, we propose a theory of interest group persuasion. Interestgroups typically have a low public profile, and so most people are unlikely to havestrong attitudes regarding them. Source-related predispositions, such as credibilityassessments, are therefore less relevant in moderating effects of persuasive appeals byinterest groups than those of high-profile communicators. We test this argument inmultiple large-scale studies. A parallel survey and field experiment (N¼4,659) estab-lishes the persuasive potential of low-profile interest groups in both controlled and re-alistic settings. An observational study (N¼700) shows that substantial portions ofthe public are unable to assess interest group credibility. A survey experiment(N¼8,245) demonstrates that credibility assessments moderate the impact of partybut not interest group communication.

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320 Politik
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Persuasion, Interest Groups, Political Communication, Source Credibility, FieldExperiments, Survey Experiments
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ISO 690JUNGHERR, Andreas, Alexander WUTTKE, Matthias MADER, Harald SCHOEN, 2021. A Source Like Any Other? : Field and Survey Experiment Evidence on How Interest Groups Shape Public Opinion. In: Journal of Communication. Oxford University Press (OUP). 2021, 71(2), pp. 276-304. ISSN 0021-9916. eISSN 1460-2466. Available under: doi: 10.1093/joc/jqab005
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@article{Jungherr2021-04-25Sourc-54024,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1093/joc/jqab005},
  title={A Source Like Any Other? : Field and Survey Experiment Evidence on How Interest Groups Shape Public Opinion},
  number={2},
  volume={71},
  issn={0021-9916},
  journal={Journal of Communication},
  pages={276--304},
  author={Jungherr, Andreas and Wuttke, Alexander and Mader, Matthias and Schoen, Harald}
}
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