Political Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 51–75 | Cite as

Courting the Women’s Vote: The Emotional, Cognitive, and Persuasive Effects of Gender-Based Appeals in Campaign Advertisements

  • Cindy D. KamEmail author
  • Allison M. N. Archer
  • John G. Geer
Original Paper


In this paper, we examine the ways in which citizens emotionally react to and cognitively process campaign advertisements that contain group-based appeals. Specifically, we focus on the emotional, cognitive, and persuasive effects of three campaign ads aired during the 2012 election campaign that contained explicit appeals to women voters. We analyze differences across women and men in their emotional responses to the ads, in their reports of the memorability of the ads, in their cognitive engagement with the ads, and in how persuasive the ads were for vote choice. In so doing, we add nuance to studies of gender and campaigns and contribute to the expanding literature on the impact of strategic campaign communications.


Gender Campaigns Campaign advertisements 



The authors thank W. James Booth for helpful advice and acknowledge financial support from Vanderbilt University for the data collection. Archer acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant Numbers 0909667 and 1445197.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy D. Kam
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allison M. N. Archer
    • 1
  • John G. Geer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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