Dialing in and Drilling Down: Preliminary Findings of an Experimental Design Using Moment-to-Moment Technology to Capture Responses to Race-Based Campaign Communication

Posted: 24 Oct 2013

Date Written: October 23, 2013

Abstract

Contemporary exploration of racial attitudes in the United States is complicated because of what Mendelberg (2001) referred to as the "norm of racial equality." Because Americans have explicit desires to not make judgments based on race and ethnicity, and because such racial beliefs are often subconscious, measuring the extent of racial associations, resentments, biases and prejudices is challenging. With respect to candidate evaluation and vote choice (and even more so since Barack Obama’s emergence on the national political stage), White Americans might especially be likely to believe that race is not a factor in their evaluation of non-White candidates. Our current study takes advantage of "moment-to-moment" technology, which allows participants to register their feelings (as opposed to thoughts) about stimuli on an intuitive response dial. Besides tapping into more affective components of evaluation than traditional post-stimulus instruments, this approach allows us to pinpoint what portions of a particular stimulus is responsible for changes in participant evaluation of the candidates. We employ a stimulus-post-test experimental design with campaign advertisements from the 2013 New York mayoral election to examine participant responses and correlate with more traditional survey items. Conclusions center on substantive findings related to candidate evaluation, and suggestions are made for future exploration.

Keywords: race, elections, politics, campaigns, advertisements, experiment, moment-to-moment

Suggested Citation

Caliendo, Stephen M. and McIlwain, Charlton D., Dialing in and Drilling Down: Preliminary Findings of an Experimental Design Using Moment-to-Moment Technology to Capture Responses to Race-Based Campaign Communication (October 23, 2013). 2014 National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) Annual Meeting, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2344363

Stephen M. Caliendo (Contact Author)

North Central College ( email )

30 N. Brainard Street
Naperville, IL 60540
United States
6306375344 (Phone)

Charlton D. McIlwain

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
262
PlumX Metrics