Who said what? The effects of source cues in issue frames


Framing effects have been demonstrated in numerous experimental studies; yet, critics have been quick to point out that these designs fail include source information commonly featured in media reports. In two survey experiments, we find evidence of assimilated framing effects, such that an ideological match between message source and respondent facilitates framing, while a mismatch prevents these effects. This ideological matching effect occurs regardless of the actual content of the issue frame or the ideology of the respondent. In our studies, ideologues on either end of the political spectrum were just as quick to oppose a Ku Klux Klan rally due to public safety concerns as they were to support it to protect freedom of speech, so long as the issue was framed by a member of the favored ideological group.

Political Behavior