Article Review

Article Citation: Goldstein, K., & Ridout, T. N. (2004). Measuring the effects of televised political advertising in the United States. Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci., 7, 205-226.

The Problem

The general problem discussed in the study is whether the scholars have conducted enough research to be certain to conclude that there is a significant effect of political televised advertisement on the actual results of general elections? The authors have clearly articulated the research problems at different instances of the article and I believe that it should be clear for researchers to grasp the research question from the study article.

The research question discussed in this article is related to the amount of effort and money put into the political televised advertisement with one and only goal in mind, and that is to win elections. Researcher have been conducting on the indirect effect of these televised advertisement for years on the election outcomes but the author of this article argues that the amount of research done is not enough to come to conclusion about the said effects.

The authors have argued that most of the research that has been related to the outcomes of political advertisement has been conducted on the effects of advertisement on other variables rather than political advertisement. In my opinion the authors are justified in carrying out the research as I can see a great amount of referencing that lead to the conclusions that have been drawn as a result of this research.

Literature Review

The article under review is well connected to other researches. The authors have connected their arguments to previous studies in a profound manner. The article itself is a literature review. Therefore, they have linked too many studies conducted on assessing the voter behaviors as a dependent variable and different forms of advertisements and campaigning as dependent variables.

The articles is based on different theoretical frameworks put forward by various researchers at different times. The frameworks have been adequately defined. For example when the authors claim that most of the studies carried out to assess the effects of advertisement on the outcomes of elections were before the emergence of televised television, they have referred to a study that was carried out in during 1984 elections and had discusses the effects of televised advertisement on election outcomes.

Study Design

The authors aim to test a generalized hypothesis “Scholars still have a long road to travel before being able to speak definitively about whether and to what extent political advertisements are successful in achieving the goal of their sponsors: winning elections.”

The hypothesis have been clearly stated and explained with examples from literature review on many instances. The authors have clearly explained different independent variables like election campaigns and televised political advertisement and dependent variables like election outcome, behavior of voters and learning process of voters. It is a literature review article, therefore, I believe that the data used for the research is credible and adequate. There is a vast list of political, advertisement and other social sciences references that have been cited in the article.

Findings and Interpretation

The findings of the article suggest that political advertisement is the main way that is used by election candidates to communicate with the potential votes and influence their opinion. The finding also suggest that the evidence present to persuade researchers to conduct more studies on the effects of televised advertisement for political reasons. The study has recommended for future researchers to not be limited to only one variable: election outcomes. Instead researchers should focus on studying on a variety of variables as an effect of televised political advertisement. The limitations of the study have not been clearly identified. I believed the article should have talked about the limitations that were encountered during the research.

The conclusions are justified in my opinion. From my personal observation, I can see the effects of televised political advertisement. But I did not see a great deal of research on this topic when I searched for online journals on Google Scholar.