Persuasion in the political context: Opportunities and threats

Wojciech Cwalina , Andrzej Falkowski , Bruce Newman


This chapter consists of three sections. The first focuses on showing political marketing as the processes of exchanges and establishing, maintaining, and enhancing relationships among objects in the political market, which largely depend on planning and implementing particular advanced persuasion strategies. This section discusses macro and micro perspectives on political marketing, in the context of which marketing management is a kind of “lens” through which politicians try to win voters’ support during electoral campaigns, as well as approval for their jobs when they are in office.

Generally the persuasion strategies used in political marketing rely on two main methods of influencing citizens: priming and framing. The second section of the chapter presents the psychological mechanisms that underlie priming effects and then proceeds to discuss their pragmatic outcomes in shaping opinions on political issues and evaluations of political leaders and parties. Presented here are the phenomena of media and candidate priming, along with the interrelations between them in the process of creating political messages. Also discussed are the specificity and consequences of priming, which concentrates on shaping citizens’ judgments concerning politicians by focusing on particular political issues (issue priming) or on personality traits of the politicians (image priming). This section ends by pointing out the boundary conditions of priming strategies.

The third section presents the second main persuasive strategy used for influencing voters’ opinions, attitudes, and behavior: framing. The section expounds the psychological grounds of framing effects—cognitive and affective—, with special emphasis on prospect theory and its application to the political realm. It also underscores the increased effectiveness of framing when applied to the strategic segment of the electoral market—the undecided voters. Also presented in this context is the strategy to employ ambiguity in political communication as a specific type of framing. This section concludes with a discussion on the use of negative political campaigning as a tool for influencing voters’ evaluations and preferences regarding political candidates.

The chapter ends with a proposal of a model that offers a merger of political marketing management with priming and framing effects. The model elaborates on the interrelations between the particular stages of the political marketing process and the two persuasion strategies mentioned above, as well as the system of mutual dependencies that exists between these strategies.
Author Wojciech Cwalina (Wydział Psychologii)
Wojciech Cwalina,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Andrzej Falkowski (Wydział Psychologii)
Andrzej Falkowski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Bruce Newman
Bruce Newman,,
Publication size in sheets3.35
Book Stewart David W. (eds.): Handbook of persuasion and social marketing, vol. Historical and social foundations, no. Volume 1 , 2015, Praeger Publishers / ABC CLIO, LLC
Languageen angielski
CFN-persuasion-str.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Citation count*11 (2021-03-05)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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