Attitudes Toward Disclosure

Significant research has been conducted in an effort to understand how varying cues or other elements of disclosure (e.g., what is disclosed, stand by your ad provisions) impact voters’ agreement with the advertised argument. This study contributes to the literature by introducing a scale to measure individuals’ perceptions toward political advertising disclosures. The study demonstrates predictive validity by examining how attitudes toward disclosures moderate voters’ perception and usage of disclosure cues in a political advertisement.


Little research currently exists examining the concept of voters’ attitudes towards disclosures and how they might impact attitudinal change commonly observed in political advertising experiments. This work has implications for political reformers seeking to improve these institutions. I measure attitudes toward political disclosures with a 15-item, multi-dimensional scale. I demonstrate:

1) that the concepts underlying disclosure attitudes are distinct from other individual traits (e.g., need for cognition, information processing styles, tolerance for ambiguity, and skepticism toward advertising); and


2) that attitudes towards the disclosure institution moderate reactions to cues in the disclosure. This study uses original data collected in California following the 2018 election.

Presented at Pacific Public Opinion Research Conference. San Francisco, December 2019.

© Matt Lesenyie 2020