Velgere i massemedienes vold? En eksperimentell studie av partiledereffekter, aggeda-setting,
        priming og  framing ved stortingsvalget 2001
 
To hovedproblemstillinger står sentralt i dette prosjektet. For det første; Har populære partiledere en positiv innvirkning på måten partiets budskap blir oppfattet på, og dermed partiets oppslutningen ved valg? Er måten medietbudskapet blir presenter på, av betydning, ved at den eventuelle partileder effekten blir sterkere via fjernsynsmediet sammenlignet med andre og mindre visuelle medier?  Det andre hovedspørsmålet er hvorvidt og på hvilken måte de fjernsynsoverførte "folkemøtene" og paneldebattene påvirker folks oppfatning av relevante politiske spørsmål.

Det synes å ha blitt common sense at valgutfall og svingninger på partibarometrene kan forklares som et resultat av partilederes medietekke, uheldige medieutspill og partienes "synlighet" i det såkalte mediebildet. Mange argumenter synes å underbygge dette synet. Velgerne er mer rotløse enn før, de stemmer mindre ut fra sosiale bindinger. Skiftene i velgermassene kommer hurtigere enn før og synes å speile såkalte mediebegivenheter. Mediekonsumet er høyt og økende, særlig fjernsynseksponeringen. Forskning fra særlig USA, synes også å underbygge forestillingen om medienes betydelige opinionsmakt. Til tross for dette har norske samfunnsforskerne vært tilbakeholdne med å utrope mediene til allmektige i norsk velgerpolitikk. Dette henger dels sammen med at medieeffekter bare oppfattes som en av flere viktige effekter i studiet av politisk atferd, dels henger det sammen med at medieeffekter  ikke uten videre lar seg studere ved hjelp av det metoderepertoaret norske statsvitere vanligvis behersker. Spørsmålet om medienes opinionsmakt har imidlertid av grunner vi skal komme tilbake til - blitt et påtrengende spørsmål for norsk samfunnsforskning. Vi tror at eksperimentelle tilnærminger vil sette oss i stand til å teste kausalhypoteser om medienes opinionspåvirkning og hypoteser om betydningen av personfokuseringen i massemedienes dekning av norsk politikk og dermed bringe norsk opinionsforskning et steg videre.

        Collaborators: Toril Aalberg & Anders Todal Jenssen
        Time-period: June 2001 - June -  2005
        Financial source: Norwegian Research Council. (NFR) 
 


        Comparative Public Opinion on Distributive Justice;
        Ideals, Perceptions and Policy Attitudes

         Various attempts have been made to explain attitudinal variations in public beliefs on income distribution and
         government redistribution. Some argue that differences are caused by a general political culture in the country. Others
         stress that the public is affected by the political regime and adopt or revolt against the values and policy choices of the
         political leaders. And finally, some studies have argued that attitudes towards distribution justice are caused by the
         social and economic structure within the society. Our study will systematically explore if any of these explanations
         can account for cross-national variations in (i) public priorities towards distributive principles, and beliefs about
         (ii) income distribution in general, (iii) wage inequalities, (iv) taxation and (v) government responsibilities.
         Moreover, our study try to make a clearer distinction between basic values, principles and ideals of distributive
         justice, perceptions of achieved justice in society and attitudes toward current policies. Finally, we investigate the
         interaction between distributive ideals, publics perception of reality and their attitudes toward current distributive
         policies.

        Collaborators: Toril Aalberg
        Time-period: September 1996 - September -  2000
        Financial source: Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, NTNU



         Distributive Justice Norms Concerning Income: A Cross-National
         Experimental Study of Individuals' Choice of Allocation Principles
 

         This research is a cross national experimental study of distributive justice norms concerning income distribution. A
         set of three experiments is used to determine what allocation principle individuals choose when judging the fairness of
         income distributions and what factors determine their choice. The experimental design draws on both normative and
         empirical research. Traditionally, the preferred allocation principle is said to vary according to the characteristics of
         the good being distributed, the individuals to whom it is distributed and the individual making the choice. We explore
         the preferences between four major allocation principles, merit, equality, need and efficiency. The choice of
         allocation principle is studied by manipulating variables in the experimental design. Distributive justice norms and
         judgements are analyzed both cross-nationally, and across internal socio-demographic factors.

        Collaborators: Ola Listhaug, Toril Aalberg, Richard Matland, John Scott & Brian
        Time-period: January 1998 - Desember 2000
        Financial source: Norwegian Science Foundation & National Science Foundation (USA)


        Crossnational Variations in Distributive Justice Perception Project
        (CVDJP)
 

 The project -- which now encompasses research collaborators in New Zealand, Australia, the United States,
 English and French Canada, England, Ireland, France, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Japan, Israel,
 Jamaica, and South Africa -- is based on an extensive questionnaire designed to operationalize, explore, and
 compare aspects of the (complex, multi-dimensional)`cognitive maps' used by citizens of modern democracies in
 their thinking about distributive fairness relationships among different groups, classes, and interests. The
 questionnaire has now been translated into eight languages. The survey instrument measures  attitudes towards the
 programs and redistributive functions of the late twentieth century welfare state, the fairness of the
 taxpayer-recipient- government relationship, and the perceived relative resource positions (contributions to
 society, rewards from society) of 50 different types of social groupings within modern democracies.
        The survey contains questions/scales measuring perceived intergroup and intergenerational equity,
 stereotyping of underprivileged societal groups, political participation, party identification and voting, and
 patterns of mass media usage. In addition, it includes measures of a number of psychological correlates of justice
 perception whose relative effects have not previously been tested on an extensive cross-cultural basis -- self
 concept, interpersonal trust, the NEO-Personality Inventory (which taps the `big five' factors of the normal human
 personality), locus of control, affect intensity, control motivation (desirability of control), status anxiety,
 attributional bias, tolerance-intolerance of ambiguity, SVO (social value orientation), and need satisfaction.
        Also included, for purposes of testing the `American exceptionalism' hypothesis (vis-a-vis other comparable
 democratic cultures), are measures of agreement with the `Lockean individualist' cluster of ideological premises
 most frequently identified by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, etc. as central to the U.S. culture--viz
 individual self-reliance, anti-statism, sanctity of private property, free enterprise, social Darwinism, the
 Protestant work ethic, equal opportunity (vs results), achievement orientation, competition.
 

Collaborators: Lawrence Powell, Joe Atkinson, Raymond Hudon, Bernard Fournier, Paul Nesbitt-Larking,
Toril Aalberg, Harm Hart, Wim Jansen, Anders Biel, Rez Shirazi, Janusz Grezelak, Clara Sabbagh,
Jeremy Seekings, Ken Jubber, Valerie Bresnihan, Alan Aldridge, Ken Levine, David Waller, Rob Irvine,
Charles Grenier, Leslie Leighninger,Wayne Parent, Toshiaki Doi & Ian Boxill
Time-period: Spring 1996 -
Financial source: Various
 

      E