The Measurement and Identification of Media Priming Effects in Political Science

Media priming has been established as one of the most important ways in which the information about campaigns affects public opinion. By changing the criteria citizens use to evaluate policies and politicians, the media conditionally affect public opinion. Recently concerns have been raised about the methodological strategies used to demonstrate media priming effects. The goal of this project is to shed light on this general measurement issue as well as related substantive findings of media priming studies. To overcome this problem, this project combines the pre- and post-test experimental designs in a manner that leads to more powerful inferences about the media priming effect. The result is a new set of methods that can be used to make stronger inferences about the impact of media on citizen behavior.


Nicholas Valentino, Center for Political Studies (Michigan PI); Kosuke Imai, Princeton University (Princeton PI)

American National Science Foundation (NSF)

Funding Period
July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2011