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Bias In Political Communication Experiments

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Executive Summary

Research on political communication effects has enjoyed great progress over the past 20 years. A key ingredient underlying these advances is the increased usage of experiments that demonstrate how communications influence opinions and behaviors. A potential problem with nearly all of these studies, however, concerns the lack of attention to events that occur prior to the experiment - that is, "Pretreatment events." In this paper, the authors explore how and when the pretreatment environment affects experimental outcomes.

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