Endorsement and Framing Effects in Experimental and Natural Settings: The Supreme Court, the Media and the American Public

36 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2013 Last revised: 26 Oct 2013

Katerina Linos

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Kimberly Twist

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 25, 2013

Abstract

Political communications scholars worry that the field is based almost entirely on experiments in artificial environments, and that key propositions have not yet been confirmed in natural settings. To address this concern, we conducted a study in a natural setting that confirms key theoretical propositions, and compares experimental and real-life treatments. We surveyed a representative sample of Americans shortly before and shortly after two Supreme Court decisions. We observe endorsement effects in natural settings, and find that the Supreme Court can increase support for controversial policies. We also observe framing effects, and find that people who watch news programs that emphasize the Court majority’s frame are especially likely to follow the Court’s lead. An experiment embedded in the post-decision survey illustrates that people who receive information for the first time in the course of an experiment respond in similar ways to people who receive it from the news media.

Keywords: court, trust, opinion, survey, experiments, methodology, health care, immigration

Suggested Citation

Linos, Katerina and Twist, Kimberly, Endorsement and Framing Effects in Experimental and Natural Settings: The Supreme Court, the Media and the American Public (October 25, 2013). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2223732. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2223732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2223732

Katerina Linos (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

488 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Kimberly Twist

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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