SAGE Journal Articles

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Wu, H. D., & Coleman, R. (2009). Advancing agenda-setting theory: The comparative strength and new contingent conditions of the two levels of agenda-setting effects. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 86, 775-789. doi:10.1177/107769900908600404

Survey and content analysis data from the 2004 presidential election were used to examine relative strength of first- and second-level agenda setting. Second-level candidate attributes exert a stronger agenda-setting influence on the public than does the salience of issues. More striking is the difference in effect sizes on voting intention. Respondents’ perception of candidates’ traits has a stronger agenda-setting effect and is a better predictor of voting intention than candidates’ issues stance. Additionally, a new contingent condition for second-level effects was confirmed: negative information has more power to transfer the media’s agenda of candidate attributes to the public.

Potter, W. J. (1990). Adolescents’ perceptions of the primary values of television programming. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 67, 843-851. doi:10.1177/107769909006700439

This study of middle and high school students finds some support for cultivation theory. Some values associated with television--i.e., “hard work yields rewards” or “good wins over evil”--are more valued by higher versus lower exposed-to-television watchers. There were interactions. The ultimate triumph of hard work and good conduct, for example, were associated with viewing sports programs. Those who watched a lot of soap operas were least likely to believe: The strong survive; instead, this group of watchers believed: Luck is important.