Long-lasting Effects of Newspaper Op-Eds on Public Opinion

In a recent study published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, researchers found that op-eds were persuasive to both the mass public and elites, but marginally more persuasive among the mass public. The researchers conducted two randomized panel survey experiments on elite and mass convenience samples to estimate the effects of five op-eds on policy attitudes. They found very large average treatment effects on target issues, equivalent to shifts of approximately 0.5 scale points on a 7-point scale, that persisted for at least one month. The researchers also found very small and insignificant average treatment effects on non-target issues, suggesting that the subjects read, understood, and were persuaded by the arguments presented in these op-eds. To learn more or download the article, click here.