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Web Survey Bibliography

Title More than a thousand words? Visual cues and visual knowledge
Author Prior, M.
Source 60th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Association
Year 2002
Access date 06.05.2013

People get a lot of their political information from visual media, yet we know very little about the impact on political knowledge that images have. In a set of experiments embedded in a general population survey, I examine the effect of adding visual elements to traditional verbal knowledge questions. Then, I compare respondents' performance on two scales of political knowledge, a scale that measures visual recognition of politicians, and a traditional verbal knowledge scale. Data for this paper comes from a web-based survey of 2,358 randomly selected U.S. residents. Using a web-based survey design allows me to add photos of politicians to knowledge questions. I find, first, that minimal visual cues can increase people's performance on verbal political knowledge tests. Second, the analysis reveals clear differences between the sources of verbal and visual political knowledge. People who prefer visual news media-television news, rather than radio news or newspapers-have greater visual political knowledge. Verbal knowledge, in contrast, increases with political interest regardless of which medium people prefer. Basing our assessments of political knowledge only on verbal measures thus hides a major contribution of TV news to increasing political knowledge and disadvantages people in traditional knowledge tests who get a lot of their political information from television.

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Year of publication2002
Bibliographic typeConference proceedings
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Web survey bibliography - 60th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (1)