First Advisor

Brian Manata

Date of Publication

Fall 11-8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication




Motivation (Psychology), Reasoning (Psychology), Decision making, Communication in politics



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 47 pages)


This study was designed to investigate decision-making as it relates to message appraisal, and determine what effect, if any, identification with the message source has on those appraisals. For the purpose of study, message appraisal was operationalized as message strength ratings. Furthermore, the study investigated how the political ideology of message receivers and the perceived partisanship of message senders might influence identification, and message appraisal by extension. The study used the theory of motivated reasoning to explain the role of identification in the process of message appraisal. The results indicate that there is a relationship between identification and message strength ratings, which suggests identification can produce motivated reasoning. However, the study did not show support for an interaction effect between the political ideology of participants, the perceived partisanship of message senders, and identification when considering message strength ratings.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Communication Commons