Psychological Responses of Stigmatized Groups to Voter Referendums

By Andrew R. Flores, Mark Hatzenbuehler and Gary Gates
June 2018

A study examining the psychological effects of ballot measures related to same-sex marriage in 2012 found that LGBT people were more likely to be stressed as the total number of televised campaign advertisements increased.

The study also found that the substance of the campaign advertisements influenced LGBT people’s emotional well-being. Ads that opposed same-sex marriage evoked sadness, while supportive ads brought about enjoyment and happiness. The quantity and tone of the ads had no effect on the stress levels and emotional well-being of non-LGBT people.



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