Gaining Economic Profit or Losing Cultural Security: Framing Persuasive Arguments for Two Types of Conservatives


  • Silke Eschert
  • Michael Diehl
  • René Ziegler


Recent research suggests that different motivational bases underlie economic and cultural conservatism. Different political messages may address these different motivational bases. This article investigates the hypothesis that gain frames and achievement frames are more persuasive for participants high in economic conservatism and for economic conservative political issues, whereas loss and security frames are more persuasive for participants high in cultural conservatism and for cultural conservative political issues. Indeed, differential framing effects were found for economic versus cultural conservative issues across two experimental studies (N = 111 and N = 234). Study 2 could show that these effects were also significantly moderated by individual economic and cultural conservatism. Political arguments were perceived as most persuasive when argument frames matched both the issue at hand and recipient’s individual conservatism. Theoretical implications are discussed with regard to the motivational bases of two dimensions of conservatism along with practical implications for the field of political communication.