Campaigning with poetry, governing on prose - Experimental analyses of the effects of persuasive strategies in election campaigns, on fluctuation in political trust pre- and post-elections

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: What accounts for fluctuation in political trust pre- and post-elections? The dynamic process of increased fluctuation in political trust around elections has been studied before, but the effects of persuasive strategies on this process have not yet been analyzed. In these theses I offer a theory to account for this process: that the fluctuation increases if parties´ use persuasive strategies in election campaigns. Six hypotheses are put forward as arguments for the theory: H1) Parties´ use of persuasive strategies pre-election generates more political support and trust than parties´ use of non-persuasive strategies. H2) Negative information in media leads to losses of support and trust post-election. H3) Negative information in media causes higher losses if persuasive strategies were used pre-election. H4) Parties´ use of persuasive strategies post-election reduces losses of support and trust. H5) Effects of persuasive strategies post-election are weaker than the effects of persuasive strategies pre-election. H6) Effects of persuasive strategies post-election are weaker if persuasive strategies have been used pre-election. These hypotheses reinforce the main hypothesis: H7) Fluctuation in political support and trust increases around elections, if political parties use persuasive strategies in the election campaign.The results support four of the six first hypotheses, but disaffirm that persuasive strategies cause higher losses post-election, and that effects of persuasive strategies post-election are weaker if the strategies have been used pre-election. The empirical findings support the main hypothesis, that persuasive strategies increase fluctuation in support and trust pre- and post-election.

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