The present paper reports on the initial results of a pilot study for
a planned cross-cultural project intended to investigate the impact
of text framing on the understanding of political conflict. Following
the design of a prior experiment by Peleg & Alimi (2005), the pilot
study examines the impact of differently framed texts about the approval
of the Road Map by the Knesset on German students assessments
of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The results of the study confirmed our theoretical position, according
to which media effects cannot be explained using simple stimulus-response
models. They depend instead on the Ss a priori mental models,
into which new information is integrated.
In contrast to the Israeli study, however, the experiment failed to
demonstrate an impact of text faming on the Ss mental models.
Possible reasons might be that the framing was too mild, that the Ss
in the present study were politically far less interested and informed,
or that they were too detached from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.