Living is easy with eyes closed: Avoidance of targeted political advertising in response to privacy concerns, perceived personalization, and overload

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Political parties increasingly rely on sophisticated targeting strategies to persuade potential voters. However, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of targeted political ads, considering that citizens frequently oppose the use of their data for political purposes. In this study, we investigate three avoidance behaviors that citizens might employ in order to circumvent targeted political ads: cognitive avoidance, blocking behaviors, and privacy-protective behaviors. We test if privacy concerns, perceived personalization, and overload explain why individuals resort to avoidance behaviors. Moreover, we explore interrelations between the different avoidance strategies. Findings from a two-wave panel study (N = 428) in the context of the Viennese state election showed that privacy concerns increased cognitive avoidance and privacy-protective behaviors. In contrast, perceived personalization decreased cognitive avoidance and blocking behaviors. Cognitive avoidance further reduced privacy-protective behaviors over time, indicating that low-effort strategies might inhibit preventive actions against data collection practices.

Seiten (von - bis)203-227
FachzeitschriftCommunication Research (CR)
Frühes Online-Datum29 Nov. 2022
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - März 2024

ÖFOS 2012

  • 508007 Kommunikationswissenschaft