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IP 13 (Phase II): The strategies and processes of attitude formation and public participation in comparative perspective

This project studies the effects of the public debate on citizens' attitudes across five European countries (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Switzerland). So far, evidence gained by research on media effects in different cultures has been scarce: There is agreement that different media effects are likely when the same topic is covered differently in different countries. However, culture-specific media effects may also stem from differences in belief systems or the value priorities of people from different cultural backgrounds.

The project investigates whether its media effect theory, developed in Phase I for political campaign coverage in Switzerland, can be generalized to the influences of debate reporting on public opinion. Furthermore, it seeks to find out whether the theory can also be generalized to other countries with different value priorities. The aim is to draw a full picture of the cognitive and affective influences of the media on attitudes.

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Project leader:
Prof. Werner Wirth, University of Zurich

Postdoctoral researcher:
Dr. Christian Schemer, University of Zurich

Doctoral students:
Rinaldo Kühne, University of Zurich
Martin Wettstein, University of Zurich

Anne Schulz, University of Zurich
Dominique Wirz, University of Zurich