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Cognitive responses to populist communication: The impact of populist message elements on blame attribution and stereotyping


Corbu, Nicoleta; Bos, Linda; Schemer, Christian; Schulz, Anne; Matthes, Jörg; de Vreese, Claes H; Aalberg, Toril; Suiter, Jane (2019). Cognitive responses to populist communication: The impact of populist message elements on blame attribution and stereotyping. In: Reinemann, Carsten; Stanyer, James; Aalberg, Toril; Esser, Frank; de Vreese, Claes H. Communicating populism : comparing actor perceptions, media coverage, and effects on citizens in Europe. New York: Routledge, 183-206.

Abstract

This chapter investigates the cognitive effects of different populist messages on blame attributions and stereotyping in the 15 countries participating in the study. It first gives an overview about whether respondents blamed politicians, the wealthy, immigrants, or ordinary people for the future economic decline described in the experimental stimulus. In addition, general stereotypical perceptions of those groups among respondents are presented. With respect to populist message effects, the analyses show that these were generally rather weak. But the analyses were also able to show that left-wing anti-out-group cues blaming ‘the rich’ and economic elites were most influential in this experiment. In contrast, the effects of anti-immigrant cues were much weaker, and neither anti-politics nor people-centrism cues made much of a difference for blame attributions and stereotypes. The chapter discusses the complex reasons for these differential effects. With respect to the impact of contextual factors, the analyses support the notion that the exact workings of populist communication seem to be rather country-specific. This supports findings from the interviews with journalists and politicians, as well as results of the content analysis presented in Parts I and II of this volume.

Abstract

This chapter investigates the cognitive effects of different populist messages on blame attributions and stereotyping in the 15 countries participating in the study. It first gives an overview about whether respondents blamed politicians, the wealthy, immigrants, or ordinary people for the future economic decline described in the experimental stimulus. In addition, general stereotypical perceptions of those groups among respondents are presented. With respect to populist message effects, the analyses show that these were generally rather weak. But the analyses were also able to show that left-wing anti-out-group cues blaming ‘the rich’ and economic elites were most influential in this experiment. In contrast, the effects of anti-immigrant cues were much weaker, and neither anti-politics nor people-centrism cues made much of a difference for blame attributions and stereotypes. The chapter discusses the complex reasons for these differential effects. With respect to the impact of contextual factors, the analyses support the notion that the exact workings of populist communication seem to be rather country-specific. This supports findings from the interviews with journalists and politicians, as well as results of the content analysis presented in Parts I and II of this volume.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Arts and Humanities
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Social Sciences
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:26 Feb 2020 12:18
Last Modified:08 Jul 2020 16:04
Publisher:Routledge
ISBN:978-1-138-39272-4
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429402067-10
Related URLs:https://www.recherche-portal.ch/permalink/f/1h21i27/ebi01_prod011454670 (Library Catalogue)

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