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Peter, Christina (2019): The People’s Voice — The People’s Choice? How Vox Pop Exemplars Shape Audience Judgments as a Function of Populist Attitudes. In: Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 4: pp. 1004-1024
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Exemplification research has consistently shown effects of vox pops’ exemplars on audience judgments, whereby people tend to follow the opinion of a few fellow citizens. In this study, we gain some insight into why—and especially for whom—ordinary citizens are such influential “opinion-givers.” Importantly, we look at populist attitudes as a potential moderator for exemplification effects by comparing news reports containing vox pops with purely journalistic news reports providing the same arguments. In a web-based experiment, we show that both perceptual and persuasive effects are moderated by participants’ populist attitudes, and thus, their resonance with the “voice of the people.”