Framing Political Scandals: Exploring the Multimodal Effects of Isolation Cues in Scandal News Coverage on Candidate Evaluations and Voting Intentions

Christian von Sikorski, Johannes Knoll


Previous framing effects research has largely examined textual and visual influences separately, thus neglecting potential interaction effects between the two communication channels. The present study used a 2 ´ 2 experiment to examine the textual and visual influences in a separate manner and in an integrated way. It was tested how, if at all, textually and/or visually isolating a politician involved in scandal affects news consumers’ perceptions. Results revealed that textual isolation cues had no effect. In contrast, visual isolation resulted in more negative candidate evaluations. Yet, this effect was only detected in the absence of textual isolation cues. Negative evaluations, in turn, decreased participants’ intention to vote for the politician depicted.


Political scandal, visual framing effects, attitude, voting intention

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