Expressive responses to news stories about extremist groups: A framing experiment

Michael P. Boyle, Mike Schmierbach, Cory L. Armstrong, Jaeho Cho, Michael McCluskey, Douglas M. McLeod, Dhavan V. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


With the tension between national security and civil liberties as a backdrop, this study examines responses to news coverage of activist groups. This 2 × 2 experiment presented participants with news stories about government efforts to restrict the civil liberties of an "extremist" individual or group (news frame) advocating for a cause supported or opposed by the respondent (cause predisposition). Willingness to take expressive action was greatest for individual-framed stories about a cause opposed by the respondent and for groupframed stories about a cause supported by the respondent. We contend that when reporters frame stories about extremist groups around individuals, fewer people will speak out in favor of causes they agree with and more will rally against causes they oppose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-288
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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