"To thine own self be true": Values, framing, and voter decision-making strategies

Dhavan V. Shah, David Domke, Daniel B. Wackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


This article builds on multidisciplinary research on framing, motivation, and decision making to examine the relationships among media frames, individual interpretations of issues, and voter decision making. Chosen for an experimental study were two research populations, evangelical Christians and undergraduate students, who were expected to differ in their values and priorities. Subjects were presented simulated newspaper articles about an election contest and asked to make a candidate choice. Within issue environments containing candidate stands on four issues, the media frame of a single issue, health care, was altered: one experimental group in each population received an ethical textual frame and the other a material textual frame. Findings indicate that media frames and issue interpretations, in conjunction, substantially influence the type of decision-making strategy voters employ. Implications for future research on politics and media are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-560
Number of pages52
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1996


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