Exploring the mechanisms of resistance to political persuasion in the context of the Swiss ‘anti-burqa’ initiative


Chiara Valli, Beatrice Eugster, Dorothee Arlt


Resistance has often been reduced to being the simple antithesis of persuasion. Because understanding the processes through which resistance occurs matters for voters and communicators alike, we investigate what strategies citizens use to resist a dissonant political message and under which conditions these work most effectively. To do so, we present new evidence from a study conducted on a Swiss sample in the context of the Swiss ‘anti-burqa’ initiative. The study uses a quasi-experimental design, in which respondents are exposed to tailored counterarguments, to investigate to what extent cognitive elaboration – that is, thoughtful processing – and its antecedents strengthen the successful resistance to counterfactual information.


2020 – 2021


political persuasion, Burka, Islam, Muslime, Framing