Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Kenneth DeBono




valence, negative, memory


The objective of the current study is to investigate in the context of relatedness of the advertisement to the individual how valence of an emotionally charged advertisement contributes to the effectiveness of the advertisement. Additionally, the study seeks to uncover any gender differences that might exist within this framework. Relatedness was assessed by whether or not the participant and the candidate featured in the advertisement were claimed to be part of the same political party. Valence was determined by whether the political advertisement was in favor of the candidate or an attack advertisement against another candidate. One hundred and sixteen Union College students were evaluated on ratings involving the perceived persuasiveness of the advertisements as well as scores on a memory test for the advertisements. Results indicated a participant political leaning x candidate political affiliation interaction on ratings of advertisement effectiveness however this interaction was not found to be significant on scores of memory. A gender difference in terms of perceived favorability of the candidates indicated that females were more empathetic towards the candidates. Additionally, males outperformed females on score on the positive advertisement, however, there were no other significant differences in memory. Although no brain activity was observed in the present study, various other studies on the effects of advertisement valence on persuasion and memory have provided converging results in terms of associated brain areas, most notable of these areas being the coactivation of the amygdala and medial temporal lobe.