Fall, 2016 (Issue 26.1–2)

2016 ICA Political Communication Best Faculty Paper Award

Name (affiliation): Lukas Otto (University of Koblenz-Landau)

Paper title: Beyond Simple Valence: Discrete Emotions as Mediators of Political Communication Effects on Trust in Politicians

Co-authors (if any): –

Publication reference (if any; APA 6th): –

Q: What should people remember from your paper? (Please give the one main finding and/or take-home message of your research.)

A: Emotions are important for the judgment of trust in political communication contexts, however not every emotion is equally important. Control appraisals of emotions are crucial to decide which emotional response to political communication shapes a subsequent trust judgment. As a consequence emotions like anger or pride can be mediators of media effects on trust in politicians while fear or sadness not attributed to the politician but to the situation.

Q: Was your paper part of a coherent session? Did the papers talk to each other? In which ways? What were the concerns shared by the papers?

A: The session was entitled “Politicians in the news” and some of the papers talked to each other in the way that they investigated judgments of politicians from very different perspectives, for example politicians as satirical targets in television or trait inferences about politicians. These papers did not only share the topic but also attempted to investigate the underlying mechanisms of judgments on political leaders, which was very inspiring.

Q: Did you see fascinating/innovative/inspiring presentations at this year’s conference? What about them struck you as outstanding? (Please give your general impression and perhaps focus on one specific paper that stood out for you.)

A: The overall impression of this year’s conference is really good. I saw a huge amount of good work. In general I would say that the sessions of the Political Communication division getting more diverse and more sophisticated in terms of methodological approaches. Thus, if I have to mention one single paper I would go with the simulation study by Scharkow and Bachl on the effects of reliability in content analyses and surveys on the measurement of media effects. A very important study with an innovative method and a clear message: Make sure to use reliable measures in content analyzes as well as in surveys or it will be likely that you underestimate media effects.

Q: I will always remember the conference in Fukuoka because…

A: Japan was such a different experience from conferences in and travelling to Europe or the US. Coming to Japan for the first time, I will remember the kindness of Japanese people, the interesting cultural differences and – of course – the tasty Japanese food in Fukuoka!

2016 ICA Political Communication Best Faculty Paper Award