The Selective Avoidance of Threat Appeals in Right-Wing Populist Political Ads: An Implicit Cognition Approach Using Eye-Tracking Methodology.

  • Jörg Matthes
  • Franziska Marquart
  • Florian Arendt
  • Anke Wonneberger
Part of the European Advertising Academy book series (EAA)


Right-wing populist parties increasingly use political poster advertisements depicting negative and threatening images of foreigners, especially framing Muslims as a threat to Western European countries and culture (e.g. Betz, 2013; Marquart, 2013). For instance, parties such as the SVP in Switzerland, the FPÖ in Austria, the Fremskrittspartiet in Norway, or the NPD in Germany apply political poster ads that openly attack minorities and immigrants. These poster ads often depict simple, strongly emotional content, such as praying or screaming Muslims, or women in Burkas.


Fixation Duration Political Poster Implicit Association Test Implicit Attitude Attention Allocation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, N. H. (1981), “Integration Theory Applied to Cognitive Responses and Attitudes,” in: Petty, R. E.; Ostrom, T. M.; Brock, T. C. (1981) (eds.): Cognitive Responses in Persuasion, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, 361–397.Google Scholar
  2. Arendt, F., Marquart, F. and J. Matthes (2013), “Positively valenced, calming political ads. Their influence on the correspondence between implicit and explicit attitudes”, in: Journal of Media Psychology, Vol. 25, 72–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Assael, H. (1998), “Consumer Behavior and Marketing Action,” South Western College Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio.Google Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1979), “Social Learning Theory,” Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  5. Bargh, J. A. (1994), “The Four Horsemen of Automaticity: Awareness, Intention, Efficiency, and Control in Social Cognition”, in: Wyer, R. S. and T. K. Srull (1994) (eds.), Handbook of Social Cognition. Vol. 1: Basic Processes, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 2nd ed, 1–40.Google Scholar
  6. Beales, H.; Mazis, M.; Salon, S. and R. Staelin (1981), “Consumer Search and Public Policy,” in: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 8, 11–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beattie, G. and L. McGuire (2012), “See no Evil? Only Implicit Attitudes Predict Unconscious Eye Movements Towards Images of Climate Change”, in: Semiotica, Vol. 192, 315–339.Google Scholar
  8. Berry, L. L.; Seiders, K. and D. Grewal (2002), “Understanding Service Convenience,” in: Journal of Marketing, 66, July, 1–17.Google Scholar
  9. Betz, H.-G. (2013), “Mosques, Minarets, Burqas and Other Essential Threats: The Populist Right's Campaign against Islam in Western Europe”, in: Wodak, R.; KhosraviNik, M. and B. Mral (2013) (eds.): Right-Wing Populism in Europe. Politics and Discourse, Bloomsbury, London, 71–88.Google Scholar
  10. Blackwell, R. D.; Miniard, P. W. and J. F. Engel (2001), “Consumer Behavior,” 9th ed., Fort Worth.Google Scholar
  11. Bolger, N.; Davis, A. and E. Rafaeli (2003), “Diary Methods: Capturing life as it is lived,” in: Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 54, 579–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brunel, F.; Tietje, B. and A. G. Greenwald (2004), “Is the Implicit Association Test a Valid and Valuable Measure of Implicit Consumer Social Cognition?”, in: Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 14, 385–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cronbach, L. (1951), “Coefficient Alpha and the Internal Structure of Tests,” in: Psychometrika, 16, 297–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dimofte, C. (2010), “Implicit Measures of Consumer Cognition: A Review”, in: Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 27, 921–937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dziuban, C. D. and E. C. Shirkey (1974), “When is a Correlation Matrix Appropriate for Factor Analysis?,” in: Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 81 (6), 358–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Einhorn, H. J. and R. M. Hogarth (1981), “Behavioral Decision Theory: Processes of Judgement and Choice,” in: Annual Review of Psychology, 32, 53–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Festinger, L. (1954), “A Theory of Social Comparison Processes,” in: Human Relations, Vol. 7, No. 1, 117–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gawronski, B. and G. V. Bodenhausen (2006), “Associative and Propositional Processes in Evaluation: An Integrative Review of Implicit and Explicit Attitude Change”, in: Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 132, 692–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gidlöf, K.; Wallin, A.; Dewhurst, R. and K. Holmqvist (2013), “Using Eye Tracking to Trace a Cognitive Process: Gaze Behaviour During Decision Making in a Natural Environment”, in: Journal of Eye Movement Research, Vol. 6, 1–14Google Scholar
  20. Glaser, J. and C. Finn (2013), “How and Why Implicit Attitudes Should Affect Voting”, in: PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 46, 537–544.Google Scholar
  21. Greenwald, A. G.; Banaji, M.; Rudman, L.; Farnham, S.; Nosek, B. and D. Mello (2002), “A Unified Theory of Implicit Attitudes, Stereotypes, Self-Esteem, and Self-Concept”, in: Psychological Review, Vol. 109, 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Greenwald, A. G.; McGhee, D. E. and J. L. K. Schwartz (1998), “Measuring Individual Differences in Implicit Cognition: The Implicit Association Test”, in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 74, 1464–1480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lessinger, E.-M.; Moke, M. and C. Holtz-Bacha (2003), "‘Edmund, Essen ist fertig!' Plakatwahlkampf 2002 – Motive und Strategien [‚Edmund, supper is on!‘ Motives and strategies in 2002 political poster campaigning]“, in: C. Holtz-Bacha (ed.), Die Massenmedien im Wahlkampf. Die Bundestagswahl 2002, Wiesbaden, Westdeutscher Verlag, 216–242.Google Scholar
  24. Matthes, J. and F. Marquart (2013), “Werbung auf niedrigem Niveau? Die Wirkung negativ-emotionalisierender politischer Werbung auf Einstellungen gegenüber Ausländern“, Publizistik, Vol. 58, 247–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Marquart, F. (2013), “Rechtspopulismus im Wandel. Wahlplakate der FPÖ von 1978-2008”, in: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, Vol. 24, 353–371.Google Scholar
  26. McConahay, J. B. and J. C. Hough, Jr. (1976), “Symbolic Racism”, in: Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 32, 23–45.Google Scholar
  27. Schmuck, D. and J. Matthes (2014), “How Anti-immigrant Rightwing Populist Advertisements Affect Young Voters: Symbolic Threats, Economic Threats and the Moderating Role of Education”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, published ahead of print, Doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2014.981513Google Scholar
  28. Sidanius, J.; Devereux, E. and F. Pratto (1992), “A Comparison of Symbolic Racism Theory and Social Dominance Theory as Explanations for Racial Policy Attitudes”, in: Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 132, 377–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stephan, W. G.; Ybarra, O.; Martnez, C. M.; Schwarzwald, J. and M. Tur-Kaspa (1998), “Prejudice Toward Immigrants to Spain and Israel. An Integrated Threat Theory Analysis”, in: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 29, 559–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Strack, F. and R. Deutsch (2004), “Reflective and Impulsive Determinants of Social Behavior”, in: Personality and Social Psychology Review, Vol. 8, 220–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Matthes
    • 1
  • Franziska Marquart
    • 1
  • Florian Arendt
    • 2
  • Anke Wonneberger
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.University of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations