Negativity in the evaluation of political candidates

Jill G. Klein, Rohini Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Prior research has demonstrated a clear negativity effect (greater weighting of candidate weaknesses compared with strengths) in the evaluation of U.S. presidential candidates in each of the past six elections analyzed. The authors adopt a motivational view and question the robustness of this finding. They reanalyze past National Election Studies data along with new data and conclude that the negativity effect is not universal across voters; it is a robust effect only for voters who dislike the candidate. They argue that previous findings are due to aggregation of data across voters who vary in their motivations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


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