Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Hilt


A primary goal of this study was to confirm the effect that presidential debate have on viewers as well as to discover how group discussion has the potential to affect voters after viewing the debate. Debates do have the ability to influence voter's intent to vote as well as their acquisition of knowledge. The study also revealed that group discussion following the debates has an impact on viewers. Through the use of quantitative methods surveys were distributed to Debate Watch 2004 participants inquiring about their voting behavior. An analysis of the responses yielded positive results as to the effects that debates have on viewers. One-way analysis of variance as well as chi-square showed significant relationships between each variable tested.


A Thesis Presented to the School of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Communication University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Leslie A. Rill May, 2005