Public opinion theory and research are becoming increasingly significant in modern societies as people’s attitudes and behaviors become ever more volatile and opinion poll data becomes ever more readily available. This major new Handbook is the first to bring together into one volume the whole field of public opinion theory, research methodology, and the political and social embeddedness of polls in modern societies. It comprehensively maps out the state-of-the-art in contemporary scholarship on these topics.

Agenda-Setting, Framing and Priming

Agenda-setting, framing and priming

Issues help to structure our perception of reality. They provide typical categories which organize our knowledge and our experiences in a larger semantic framework relevant for communication in society (Luhmann, 1970). This is true for the depiction of current events in the news media, where headlines and keywords clearly indicate the issues the respective coverage refers to. And it corresponds with the audience members' processing of news, which needs a principle to store and retrieve this information. Cognitive schemata emerge as a result of these mental networks, and very often they relate to the schemata applied by the news media and reproduced in media coverage (Brosius, 1991; Roessler, 1999).

This chapter focuses on three relevant concepts in the field ...

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