The Role of Message Frame and Contact in Young Adults' Attitudes toward Older Adults and Social Security
AuthorSpringer, Sheila Ann
KeywordsEpisodic and thematic frames
Attitudes toward aging
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMessage framing and intergroup contact theories provide the framework for this study to examine how episodic and thematic political message frames affect young adults' attitudes toward older adults and Social Security. Three specific moderators were examined: direct contact, trait empathy, and critical consumption skills. Effects were explored experimentally using manipulated messages about abolishing Social Security. Results indicated that political message framing related to public policies does affect attitudes toward those policies. Respondents in the episodic condition reported significantly more negative attitudes toward Social Security than respondents in the thematic and control conditions. A significant effect on individual attribution of responsibility was also found such that respondents in the thematic condition rated individual responsibility significantly lower than respondents in the atypical condition. The study extends previous work by examining both intended and unintended attitudinal consequences of message frames.
Degree ProgramGraduate College