Is bad news on TV tickers good news? The effects of voiceover and visual elements in video on viewers’ assessment

Konrad Maj*, Stephan Lewandowsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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In our experiment, we tested how exposure to a mock televised news segment, with a systematically manipulated emotional valence of voiceover, images and TV tickers (in the updating format) impacts viewers’ perception. Subjects (N=603) watched specially prepared professional video material which portrayed the story of a candidate for local mayor. Following exposure to the video, subjects assessed the politician in terms of competence, sociability, and morality.

Results showed that positive images improved the assessment of the politician, whereas negative images lowered it. In addition, unexpectedly, positive tickers led to a negative assessment, and negative ones led to more beneficial assessments. However, in a situation of inconsistency between the voiceover and information provided on visual add-ons, additional elements are apparently ignored, especially when they are negative and the narrative is positive. We then discuss the implications of these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0231313
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


Structured keywords

  • Memory
  • Cognitive Science


  • visual communication
  • political communication
  • public opinion
  • media effects
  • Emotions
  • Vision
  • Sensory perception
  • elections
  • communications
  • mass media
  • questionnaires
  • research assessment

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