The power of television images: The first Kennedy-Nixon debate revisited

James N. Druckman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations

Abstract

How does television affect political behavior? I address this question by describing an experiment where participants either watched a televised version of the first Kennedy-Nixon debate or listened to an audio version. I used this debate in part because despite popular conceptions, there is no extant evidence that television images had any impact on audience reactions. I find that television images have significant effects - they affect overall debate evaluations, prime people to rely more on personality perceptions in their evaluations, and enhance what people learn. Television images matter in politics, and may have indeed played an important role in the first Kennedy-Nixon debate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-571
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Politics
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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