University Of Tasmania
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Trust in politics : the effects of stealing thunder

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posted on 2023-05-27, 10:31 authored by Jones, KH
In this study, we investigated the effects of stealing thunder (a type of selfdisclosure) and type of transgression (competence vs. integrity) on trust in a politician and their representative party and policy, after the politician commits a transgression. 99 participants (68 females, 31 males) with an average age of 30.89 (SD=14.12) completed this study, with just over half (62.2%) being students University of Tasmania. Participants complete an online survey where they read several vignettes about a hypothetical politician committing a wrongdoing, and completed Likert scales and dichotomous measures of support in the politician, their party and policy. A trend in results was identified across some measures, where ratings of support were higher post-transgression when the wrongdoing was related to the politician's competence. Furthermore, regression analysis established trust as a full mediator of support in a politician. It was concluded that people are more forgiving of a politician when the transgression they commit is related to their competence, as opposed to their integrity. Stealing thunder could be effective in a political setting, however contextual factors may distort this effectiveness.


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Copyright 2016 the author

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