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Political values influence people's response to health disparities messages
Date:2/10/2014

ed political differences in the way people responded to the messages. "While all the messages elicited more anger among Democrats than Republicans, the message attributing health disparities to the personal behavior of those who are less well-off aroused the most anger among Democrats and the least anger among Republicans," the authors write.

Despite these differences, the authors also saw evidence of some common ground across the partisan divide. "Regardless of political orientation, all respondents counter-argued and evaluated as weak the message attributing disparities in health exclusively to personal behaviors, suggesting that such messages are likely to be rejected by the public as not credible," says Dr. Cappella.

Gollust and Cappella's research has implications for advocacy and policymaking. Different ways of communicating may be required depending on the composition of the audience and the communicator's goals. Moral outrage about disparities and consensus about what needs to be done require different strategies of communicating the same core information and ideas. Advocates who seek to increase public awareness should choose their messages with care, relying on evidence to support their strategies whenever possible.


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Contact: Joseph J. Diorio
jdiorio@asc.upenn.edu
215-746-1798
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
Source:Eurekalert  

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