Moderators of Framing Effects on Political Attitudes: Is Source Credibility Worth Investigating?


This research paper focuses on indirect (mediated) media effects. In particular, we discuss which independent variables might intervene in and moderate the impact of framing effects on public attitudes (namely political trust), both in short-term and medium-term contexts. Among these, we focus on source credibility as a possible moderator of framing effects over time. The purpose of this study was to examine if and how source credibility influences individuals’ political trust. The moderator role of source credibility is analysed according to the exposure to different types of frames (repetitive or competitive) at different moments (one week or one month). By means of a framing experiment (N=769) on political topics, we argue that media frames could influence political trust: Source credibility has a marginal influence, which suggests that, with stronger stimulus material (video, as opposed to written press articles), the source could play an important role in the willingness of people to trust political figures in general. Thus, we might argue that the media play a significant role not only in offering information about politics and politicians, but also in altering people’s perceptions about them. On the other hand, time seems to matter, since framing effects are more powerful after competitive media exposures. This study proposes new theoretical insights into framing effects, in the sense that classical theories should be revisited in various cultural or political contexts

Klíčová slova:
Framing Effects; Moderators; Source Credibility; Repetitive Frames; Competitive Frames
Biografie autora

Dana Raluca Buturoiu

College of Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest.

Nicoleta Corbu

College of Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest.

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