Title page for ETD etd-11012008-005747

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zha, Wei
Author's Email Address wzha1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11012008-005747
Title News Framing, Pre-existing Schemas and Public Opinion on International Trade and Individual Investment Intentions
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert Kirby Goidel Committee Chair
Judith Sylvester Committee Member
Kevin Grobman Committee Member
Margaret DeFleur Committee Member
Eric T. Hillebrand Dean's Representative
  • public opinion on foreign policy
  • pre-existing schema
  • message frame
Date of Defense 2008-10-03
Availability unrestricted
Considerable research has been devoted to detailing how news framing structures public opinion. As a major rhetoric device to present information to the public, framing has the capacity of enlightening the public on the costs and benefits of particular policy choices. However, few studies have examined media framing of international trade and its impact on public opinion, and no study to date has connected how framing of international agreements might affect individual investment attentions. This study attempts to fill this gap in the literature by examining individual responses to pro-trade versus anti-trade and gain versus lose frames. It further extends existing literature by considering the impact of framing on individual investment intentions suggesting that framing has effects beyond opinion and may impact actual behaviors.

Even though the frames in communication do influence individual preference choices concerning foreign trade policies, these policy options are also subject to powerful influence of individual pre-existing schemas about international trade. These predispositions could help not only redistribute the scarce resource of attention and construe incoming stimuli, but also orientate public opinion on foreign trade policies and even influence individual behavioral responses.

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