CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Re-imagining the Power of Priming and Framing Effects in the Context of Political Crowdfunding Campaigns

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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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charitable crowdfunding, framing technique, hci, political crowdfunding, priming effect


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