Homero Gil de Zúñiga

Homero Gil de Zúñiga
Universidad de Salamanca · Área de Ciencia Política y de la Administración

Universidad Europea de Madrid, PhD; University of Wisconsin - Madison, Phd

About

164
Publications
265,935
Reads
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10,386
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Introduction
I currently serve as Distinguished Research Professor at University of Salamanca (Spain), where I lead the Democracy Research Unit (DRU), as Professor at Pennsylvania State University (USA), and as Senior Research Fellow at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile).
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (164)
Article
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Social media and news use arguably contribute to the prevalence of contentious politics because individuals may express dissent through their social networks as they consume news. This study seeks to test whether individuals might be more open to political persuasion in this context, especially if they are exposed to political disagreement or discu...
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Ordinary citizens are increasingly using mobile instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp for politically-related activities. Compared to other ‘semi-public’ online platforms, WhatsApp provides a more intimate and controlled environment in which users can almost simultaneously gather and share news, discuss politics, and mobilize others. Relying on t...
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With the advent of social media, political communication scholars have systematically revised theories and empirical corollaries revolving media use and democracy at large. Interestingly, in about the same period of time, a reinvigorated political populism trend has taken place across different latitudes in the world. This widespread populist movem...
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Citizens’ political knowledge is regarded as a vital element for well-functioning democracies. Accordingly, there is a vibrant literature assessing the link between individuals’ news seeking behavior and learning about public affairs. There are, however, more limited efforts devoted to clarifying how incidental news exposure may facilitate politica...
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A generalized climate of distrust in political institutions is not functional to healthy democracies. With the advent of social media, recent scholarly efforts attempt to better understand people's conspiracy theory beliefs in inhibiting institutional trust. This study contributes to this literature by considering the direct antecedent effects of u...
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Research on populist attitudes has bloomed in recent years, especially among political science and communication scholars. While this trend is undoubtedly positive to unravel what the causes and consequences of individuals' populism are, rapid accumulation of knowledge is also challenging, as numerous articles are published simultaneously using div...
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There is a vast research tradition examining the antecedents that lead people to be politically persuaded. However, political opinion and attitude change in social media has received comparatively scarce attention. This study seeks to shed light on this strand of the literature by theoretically advancing and empirically testing a structural equatio...
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Today’s public sphere is largely shaped by a dynamic digital public space where lay people conform a commodified marketplace of ideas. Individuals trade, create, and generate information, as well as consume others’ content, whereby information as public space commodity splits between this type of content and that provided by the media, and governme...
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Prior literature on political filter bubbles suggests an overall positive association between social media use and political networks diversification. Sometimes, this might not be the case. This study argues that the News Finds Me perception (NFM) or the belief that “one” can be well-informed about public affairs without actively seeking informatio...
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In this article, we test if conservatism predicts psychological wellbeing longitudinally. We based the study on previous findings showing that conservatives score higher on different measures of wellbeing, such as life satisfaction and happiness. Most explanations in the literature have assumed that conservatism antecedes wellbeing without consider...
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Examining research patterns across scientific fields constitutes a growing research enterprise to understand how global knowledge production unfolds. However, scattered empirical evidence has casted light on how the publication diversity of the most productive scholars differ across disciplines, considering their gender and geographical representat...
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While the discussion on the individual level variables that affect responses to political scandals has focused mainly on variables such as partisan identity or political cynicism, we suggest that media skepticism could also moderate whether and how individuals respond to political scandals. To test this relationship, we rely on panel data from the...
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Social influence among people is widely understood to be a universal component of the human experience. However, studies of political behavior have generally approached social influence as specific to a type of behavior, such as voting, in a particular national context. There are good reasons to expect that social influence is observable across div...
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Prior research on individual-level drivers of protest has primarily focused on legal protest. However, less is known about what makes people engage in unlawful protest activities. Building upon previous literature on the collective action dilemma, socialization on violent and high-risk social movements, and political psychology, we expect that ille...
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Prior studies have theorized a positive association between people's populist attitudes and an increased use of social media to consume news, which will be mainly driven by individuals' engagement with news that reflects their people-centered, anti-elitist, and Manichean understanding of politics. However, such general connection remains elusive. T...
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According to lifestyle politics theory, social media platforms introduce new ways for people to engage in civic life. Based on the communication mediation model, prior scholarship laid out theoretical and empirical foundations for how media exposure to the news positively influences people’s political participatory behavior through supplemental com...
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Recent changes in the media environment make it easier than ever for people to actively shape their news repertoires according to their habits, needs, and preferences. As convenient as these practices seem, they may favor the development of misperceptions such as “news finds me” perception (NFM) and make it easier for some people to disconnect from...
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Prior scholarship has consistently shown that informed citizens tend to better understand government actions, expectations, and priorities, potentially mitigating radicalism such as partaking in illegal protest. However, the role of social media may prove this relationship to be challenging, with an increasingly pervasive use of applications such a...
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Prior research highlights substantial beneficial effects of political user-generated content (UGC) in society, such as diversifying political viewpoints, mobilizing the electorate, and fostering citizens’ civic engagement. However, important user asymmetries exist when creating political content. Gender, age, media uses, and skills gaps have been i...
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Research revolving social media and democracy has exploded. For almost two decades, scholarship has offered new theories, revisited some old ones, and provided empirical evidence that helped cast a strong light on social media effects over people’s social life, and democracy at large. Thanks to social media, citizens consume news, express their pol...
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Resumen La investigación en torno a las redes sociales y la democracia se ha disparado. Durante casi dos décadas, la investigación ha ofrecido nuevas teorías, revisado algunas teorías antiguas y proporcionado evidencia empírica que ha ayudado a arrojar luz sobre los efectos de las redes sociales en la vida social de las personas y la democracia en...
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Objectives Scholars are increasingly investigating the role of citizens’ personality in activating political behavior. We test whether extraversion is associated to collective political activities (i.e., activities that include social interaction) and individual ones (i.e., activities that do not include social interactions). Methods We use origin...
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Using data from a two-wave panel survey among 18 countries worldwide, this study investigates the individual- and country-level antecedents of the “News Finds Me” perception (NFM). Results show that older, more educated, and individuals belonging to the ethnic majority are less prone to develop the NFM. However, social media (news) use, incidental...
Article
In todays’ progressively polarized society, social media users are increasingly exposed to blatant uncivil comments, dissonant views, and controversial news contents, both from their peers and the media organizations they follow. Recent scholarship on selective avoidance suggests that citizens when exposed to contentious stimuli tend to either negl...
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Purpose Traditionally, most readers' news access and consumption were based on direct intentional news seeking behavior. However, in recent years the emergence and popularization of social media platforms have enabled new opportunities for citizens to be incidentally informed about public affairs and politics as by-product of using these platforms....
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Since the emergence and growing popularity of digital technologies and social media platforms, the relationship between professional and citizen journalism has been challenging. In recent years, however, this critical relationship has de-escalated due to a growing collaboration in shaping a complemental news repertoire. This study examines how soci...
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To examine whether mass media and social media relate to political knowledge, the study draws upon an original survey of adults from 11 countries, the 2014 CESifo DICE Report on public service broadcasting, and the 2015 Press Freedom Index by Freedom House. Findings reveal that news use via television, newspapers, online news sites, and social medi...
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Today, people are increasingly exposed to news on various channels without actively seeking it. However, less is known about the link between the so-called incidental news exposure (INE) and actual news consumption. Using a two-wave panel data set from 18 countries around the world, we study the so-far under researched relation between INE and news...
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This study places the “cognitive elaboration model” on news gathering and political behavior within the dual-processing “elaboration likelihood model” to derive hypotheses about the effects of incidental news exposure and tests them using two-wave panel data. Results indicate incidental news exposure predicts online participation but not offline pa...
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With today's research production and global dissemination, there is growing pressure to assess how academic fields foster diversity. Based on a mathematical problem/solve scheme, the aim of this study is twofold. First, the paper elaborates on how research diversity in scientific fields can be empirically gauged, proposing six working definitions....
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The explosive usage in recent years of the terms “fake news” and “posttruth” reflects worldwide frustration and concern about rampant social problems created by pseudo-information. Our digital networked society and newly emerging media platforms foster public misunderstanding of social affairs, which affects almost all aspects of individual life. T...
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The core hypothesis of the theory of agenda setting is that there is a process of transfer of salience from the media agenda to the public agenda. Since its original conception in the early 1970s, the explanatory model of ‘issue-agenda setting’ (first level) has been extended to help explain the transfer of the media’s ‘attribute agenda’ (second le...
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to identify the structural processes that lead citizens to escape their common social circles when talking about politics and public affairs (e.g. “filter bubbles”). To do so, this study tests to what extent political attitudes, political behavior, news media consumption and discussion frequency affect discussio...
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Masspersonal information seeking repertoires are a person-centered method of gaining insight into the relationship between Internet use, subjective well-being, and political participation. Through latent profile analysis, three person types were identified in two waves of stratified samples in 18 countries ( N = 8352). In accord with the “augmentat...
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The health of democratic public spheres is challenged by the circulation of falsehoods. These epistemic problems are connected to social media and they raise a classic problem of how to understand the role of technology in political developments. We discuss three sets of technological affordances of social media that facilitate the spread of false...
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Recent approaches from social psychology lend support to conspiracy beliefs as a motivated form of social cognition, structured around and consistent with a higher-order belief system, which may have an impact on the way people understand their political environment and respond to it. Building on these accounts, this study examines the influence of...
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Psychology has begun contributing to social theory by providing empirical measures of actually existing cosmopolitanism that complements more purely theoretical conceptions of the construct common in philosophy and sociology. Drawing from two waves of research on representative adult samples from 19 countries (N = 8740), metric invariance was found...
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Today, people are exposed to vast information flows while online or on social media. This abundance has led some people to believe that they no longer have to actively seek the news to be well informed about public affairs and that important news will find them through social media or other online channels. Recently, academics have offered a first...
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Scholarly work has placed political discussion at the center of a healthier democracy. However, this might not always be the case considering the vast amount of different discussion attributes and their effects. This study extends existing research on the influence of different discussion attributes (cognitive elaboration, network size, exposure to...
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With the wider penetration of information and communication technologies (ICTs), digital divide scholars have turned attention from physical access to the difference in usage. Based on a national representative survey conducted in mainland China (N = l,004), this exploratory study contributes to the literature by explicating a new typology of socia...
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This study explores the individual-and country-level factors that influence how getting news from social media relates to people's beliefs about anthropogenic climate change. Concepts of psychological distance and motivated reasoning are tested using multilevel analysis with survey data in 20 countries (N ¼ 18,785). Results suggest that using socia...
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Research on political misinformation is booming. The field is continually gaining more key insights about this important and complex social problem. Academic interest on misinformation has consistently been a multidisciplinary effort. But perhaps political communication researchers are particularly well situated to be the leading voices on the publ...
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Immigration is a worldwide subject of interest, and studies about attitudes towards immigrants have been frequent due to immigration crises in different locations across the globe. We aimed at understanding individual-level effects of human values and ideological beliefs (Right-Wing Authoritarianism – RWA, and Social Dominance Orientation – SDO) on...
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The news industry is battling declining levels of public trust in the media and historically high levels of perceived media bias. At the same time, journalism practice has been altered, at least in part, by the norms and practices of social media. In this new environment, the audience's perception of what constitutes "good journalism" is also chang...
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The growing importance of social media for getting science news has raised questions about whether these online platforms foster or hinder public trust in science. Employing multilevel modeling, this study leverages a 20-country survey to examine the relationship between social media news use and trust in science. Results show a positive relationsh...
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This study examined how internet use is related to subjective well-being, using longitudinal data from 19 nations with representative online samples stratified for age, gender, and region (N = 7122, 51.43% women, Mage= 45.26). Life satisfaction and anxiety served as indices of subjective well-being at time 1 (t1) and then six months later (t2). Fre...
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As citizens inadvertently “encounter” news and political information through digital media and social networking sites, they might perceive themselves to be well informed about politics without actively seeking political information, which has been labeled as the “News Finds Me” (NFM) perception. We attempt to explicate and further advance the conc...
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Based on social identity theory and the dual process model of social attitudes, we argue that individuals high in right-wing authoritarianism are motivated to identify with their national in-group. In addition, considering that national identities are shaped by political and historical factors, we propose that authoritarian individuals will identif...
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A substantial body of scholarship has long explored the ways emerging media may foster and also hamper an informed and engaged citizenry. Individually, digital media have become an integral part of citizens’ political life as a growing number of people around the world use digital media technologies for information and communication. Collectively,...
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This study examines how the use of internet is related to well-being using longitudinal data from 19 nations with representative online quota stratification samples (N = 7122, 51.43% women, Mage = 45.26). Life satisfaction and anxiety were measured as indexes of subjective well-being at time one (t1) and then sixth months later (t2). Frequency of i...
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Social group membership and its social‐relational corollaries, for example, social contact, trust, and support, are prophylactic for health. Research has tended to focus on how direct social interactions between members of small‐scale groups (i.e., a local sports team or community group) are conducive to positive health outcomes. The current study...
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Second screening politics is an emerging communication practice for engaging with public affairs content. Scholars are increasingly interested in exploring pro-democratic effects of dual screening during news events and election cycles. This paper examines the potential for second screening practices to develop social capital on social media platfo...
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Since introduced by Professor McLeod and the Wisconsin School at the turn of the century, a large body of research has employed the communication mediation model. Yet, most of these studies rely on cross-sectional and individual-level survey data collected in the United States. This paper seeks to address these shortcomings by testing a specificati...
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Social trust has long attracted the interest of researchers across different disciplines. Most of previous studies rely on single-country data and consider only one dimension of social trust at a time (e.g., trust in science, the media or political institutions). This research extends a framework developed by the Global Trust Inventory (GTI) by dis...