Do we overestimate the impact of political ads – campaign finance reform
People tend to exaggerate influence of political ads on others The push for campaign finance reform may be driven by a tendency to overestimate the power of political messages to influence other people's opinions, according to researchers. In an experiment, people who viewed negative political advertising said the advertisements had little effect on their own opinions, but believed the ads would have a greater influence on others, said Fuyuan Shen, associate professor, communications, Penn State. People have a tendency to overestimate the effect media messages have on others, Shen said. The perception is that negative messages, like television violence and pornography, in mass media affect others more.