Effects of Sponsoring Negative Political Advertising on Political Decision Making:
The Roles of Involvement and Source Credibility in the Development of Voter Cynicism
Negative Political Advertising
Candidates' use of negative political advertising continues to generate objections among citizens and concern among scholars and journalists. We examined the effect of negative political advertising on political decision making by investigating the roles of situational voter involvement and source credibility in participants' vote determination and their development of cynicism. Research results indicate that participants voting intention for the sponsor of negative political advertising was higher for a high-credibility candidate than for a low-credibility candidate, regardless of their level of involvement. Highly involved participants did experience greater cynicism, however, when a high-credibility candidate sponsored negative political advertising.