Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Theodore A. Avtgis.
Matthew M. Martin
The purpose of this examination is to determine the role of verbal aggression in Presidential debates. Using six types of verbally aggressive messages, coders examined one Presidential debate from nine Presidential elections to determine the amount of verbal aggression used by each candidate. The findings from this examination indicate that there is a pattern for the use of verbal aggression in Presidential debates. Challengers use significantly more verbal aggression than incumbents while five of the nine elections had the winner using less verbally aggressive messages than the loser. Results of this study support the theory that challengers are forced to go on the attack and use verbal aggression more often than incumbents. Implications of the results and paths for further research are also offered.
Sutton, Matthew Luke, "A candidate's use of aggressive communication and the electorates' response: Predicting presidential election outcomes" (2005). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 793.