Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lisa P. Armistead

Second Advisor

Sarah S. Brosnan

Third Advisor

Sarah L. Cook


Persuasive appeals posted to United States presidential candidates’ YouTube videos were coded using a grounded theory mixed-methods design. 37,562 comments about education, energy, Iraq, health care, the economy, and the presidential debates were randomly collected by date and time for three studies using coding analysis: pilot, presidential primaries, and the presidential election. Seven argument types were identified and theoretically refined according to dual process models of persuasion: reason-based, candidate-based, emotion-based, endorsements, enthusiasmheuristic, other-interest and self-interest. Theoretical comparisons and hypothesis testing of argument types were conducted by issue and election event. Consistent with impression involvement, reason-based appeals were more frequent during the primaries, whereas consistent with value and outcome involvement, emotion- and candidate-based appeals were more frequent during the election.

Included in

Psychology Commons