Number 19 (2011)

Falkowski, A., Michalak, M. (2011). Backward framing through memory reconstruction of politicians' policy in election evaluation. Causal memory structure of candidates' images

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Andrzej Falkowski, Małgorzata Michalak
Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Abstract:
The aim of the backward-framing study was to show the possibility of re-constructing memories related to the directly or indirectly acquired knowledge both by event experience or by post event verbal description. Subjects were asked to evaluate politicians according to their program, personality and physical appearance. After a week delay and after having read a positive or a negative description of the politician, they were asked to recall their previous evaluation of this politician. The results revealed that the recalled information was strongly related to the knowledge distorted by exposure to the post event information. Moreover, it was shown that it was the politician’s program, and not his/her personality traits that was the core factor in evaluation of the politician. The findings are consistent with the economical voter’s behavior theory. To conclude, the recalled information of a particular experience was subject to distortions caused by the post event information. The participants believed that their new opinion was similar to the opinion that they held before. We conclude that backward framing in construction of political reality may play a crucial role in development of political images and thus may influence voters’ behavior.
Keywords: politician image, backward framing, press opinion

Cite this article as:

Falkowski, A., Michalak, M. (2011). Backward framing through memory reconstruction of politicians' policy in election evaluation. Causal memory structure of candidates' images. Psychologia Społeczna, 19, 351-366.
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