Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Robert Andrew Dunn

Committee Members

Stephen Marshall, Carrie Oliveira


This study was an investigation of the effect of political advertising on readers’ perceived bias and credibility of an online news article based on participants’ political leanings. Media priming and the hostile media effect were the theoretical underpinnings. Participants were asked to read an unbiased news article placed alongside 3 advertisements. Participants were put into 1 of 3 conditions — right-leaning advertisements, left-leaning advertisements, or neutral advertisements. They then answered questions about the perceived bias and credibility of the article and their own political affiliation. The researchers hypothesized that left-leaning individuals would perceive the article with right-leaning advertisements as biased and less credible and the opposite would be true of right-leaning individuals. Results were not consistent with hypotheses but trended in the expected directions.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.