The purpose of this theisis is to merge research on the public opinion and foreign policy within political science with research from psychology on the impact of images on perceptions. The central question for this thesis asks if a political leader can shape public opinion about a country and its actions based on the image invoked in the leaders discourse. This reasearch argues that public opinion is an important factor in foreign policy decision making, specifically in the decision to use force. Political leaders use speeches to communitcate their policies to the public. In turn the speeches affect the publics' perceptions and opinions about the topic of the political leaders speech. The magnitude and direction of the resonse in public opinion is influenced by the successful invoation of images by the political leader. Not all images are created equal, specific images may resonate stronger with a population; therefore, it is important to explore the differences in image type used by leaders.
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