Publication details [#62733]

Cavazza, Nicoletta. 2017. The Tone Dilemma: Comparing the Effects of Flattery and Verbal Aggression in a Political Speech. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 36 (5) : 585–598.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
SAGE Publications


In the field of political communication, the impact of personal verbal attacks on political opponents have long been examined. However, less well grasped is the impact of flattery on such opponents. This paper proposes an experiment displaying that praising a political opponent evokes an audience’s positive emotions, which in turn positively affects source reliability, and finally enhances the likelihood of voting for that source. In contrast, attacking an opponent evokes aversion, which in turn negatively affects source reliability, thus decreasing the likelihood of voting for the source.