CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Re-imagining the Power of Priming and Framing Effects in the Context of Political Crowdfunding Campaigns
April 27, 2022
through which politicians raise money to fund their election campaigns. Divisive issues discussed in these campaigns may not only motivate donations but also could have a broader priming effect on people’s social opinions. In the U.S., more than one-third of the population with moderate opinions show a tendency to swing their opinion based on recent and more accessible events. In this paper, we ask: can such campaigns further prime people’s responses to partisan topics, even when we discuss those topics in a non-political context? To answer this question, we analyzed the influence of exposure to a political candidate’s crowdfunding campaign on responses to a subsequently seen, unrelated scientific topic that is not inherently political but is seen as partisan in the U.S. (climate change). We found that exposure to an attitude-inconsistent political candidate’s crowdfunding campaign (a campaign that is counter to someone’s existing political beliefs) can have a significant priming effect on subsequently seen politically charged topics. This effect may occur due to the activation of in-group identity by the candidate’s partisan campaign. Guided by these findings, we investigated elements that can mitigate this self-categorization effect. We found that carefully designed content following framing techniques such as schema framing and threat/safety framing can mitigate people’s sense of self-categorization toward non-political topics.
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