Visual agenda-setting after 9/11: Individuals’ emotions, image recall, and concern with terrorism

Shahira S Fahmy, Sooyoung Cho, Wayne Wanta, Yonghoi Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


A path analysis model was tested that predicted emotional responses to the terrorist attack of 9/11 would influence individuals' visual recall of 9/11 images. Both visual recall and individuals' emotions, in turn, would influence concerns about terrorism. Based on responses from a phone survey conducted 2 months after the terrorist attack, the total number of visuals recalled by individuals and the emotions of sorrow and shock fit the model better than other variables. If individuals reacted to the 9/11 attack with sorrow or shock, they stored several images in their long-term memories, especially the emotional images of people jumping from buildings and depictions of dead bodies. In turn, the total number of images recalled and the ability to recall images of Palestinians dancing or cheering in the streets and of corpses increased respondents' level of concern with terrorism. Concern with terrorism also was influenced by the emotional reactions of respondents to 9/11.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalVisual Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education

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