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Implicit and Explicit Attitudes as Predictors of Gatekeeping, Selective Exposure, and News Sharing: Testing a General Model of Media-Related Selection

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Abstract

Media-related selection (MRS) is an umbrella concept for selection processes such as gatekeeping by journalists, selective exposure by audience members, and news sharing by social network site (SNS) users. Importantly, individual attitudes can influence MRS. Previous research on attitude-based MRS has relied almost exclusively on overtly expressed evaluations (i.e., explicit attitudes) as predictors of selection outcomes. We tested whether automatic affective evaluations (i.e., implicit attitudes) can predict MRS as well. In three studies (gatekeeping, selective exposure, and news sharing), we found that journalists', audience members', and SNS users' implicit and explicit attitudes predicted selection. Thus, attitudes may exert their influence even “under the radar” of conscious awareness.

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... e., implicit attitudes) as well as overtly-expressed evaluations based on conscious reasoning (i. e., explicit atti-tudes) toward the media brand (Arendt, Northup, and Camaj, 2019) and the news content (Arendt, Steindl, and Kümpel, 2016) predict news choice. ...
... e., explicit attitudes), recent research on selective exposure has hypothesized that automatically activated evaluations (i. e., implicit attitudes) can also predict selective exposure (Arendt et al., 2016(Arendt et al., , 2019Galdi, Gawronski, Arcuri, and Friese, 2012). This assumption was guided by accumulating evidence from research on social cognition showing that both (more or less) controlled, verbalizable evaluative thoughts and impulsively activated, spontaneous "gut-level" reactions predict human decision-making (e. g., Gawronski and Bodenhausen, 2006;Greenwald et al., 2002;Olson and Fazio, 2009). ...
... Applied to media (Arendt et al., 2016), recent theorizing assumes the following process: In a first step, exposure to news items (e. g., words, pictures) automatically (re-)activates their corresponding internal representations in the news-consumer's memory. This process relies on a brain architecture that has developed and adapted throughout our evolutionary past (Buss, 2009), and is thus likely to be rooted in phylogenetically ancient mechanisms (Mahajan et al., 2011). ...
Article
The present study investigated whether implicit and explicit attitudes predict news choice among Muslims with migration backgrounds living in Germany. We used both attitude constructs to predict a selection bias for news about the same event stemming from the host country (Germany) vs. from other countries. Using a survey (N = 1,107), we found that favorable implicit and explicit attitudes toward Germany increased a participant’s tendency to select German news. Each attitudinal construct predicted a unique variance in news choice. Using a subsample of Turkish citizens living in Germany who participated in the Turkish constitutional referendum 2017 (N = 241), we found that the attitude-based selection bias predicted their voting. We discuss implications for selective-exposure research and processes of integration.
... Although explicit attitudes are defined as overtly expressed, more or less deliberate evaluations, implicit attitudes are defined as automatically activated, gut-level evaluations (Gawronski & Bodenhausen, 2006). The supplementary use of implicit attitudes is consistent with current theorizing highlighting that deeply held and sometimes even unconscious evaluative tendencies influence media choice (Arendt, Steindl, & Kümpel, 2016). ...
... For example, they can like or dislike a specific television station, or they express no evaluative tendency at all. It is important that attitudes can be conceptualized on the implicit and explicit level (Arendt et al., 2016). ...
... News consumers are therefore not required to have a conscious intention to evaluate the news media brand (Greenwald et al., 2002). These implicit attitudes are "gut-level reactions" (Gawronski & Bodenhausen, 2006) that then can shape subsequent media-related decision making, sometimes even "under the radar" of conscious awareness (Arendt et al., 2016; see also Arendt, 2013). As Lodge and Taber (2013) noted, these types of automatic affective reactions provide a quick (i.e., within 200-300 milliseconds of exposure), efficient, spontaneous behavioral tendency to what should be approached and what should be avoided. ...
Article
Media consumers often lack the motivation, time, or cognitive capacity to select content in a deliberate way; instead, they opt for mental shortcuts. Brands are important in this regard because they simplify decision making. In the present study we investigated whether attitudes toward news media brands predict news choice. It is important that we conceptualized attitudes on two different levels: Although explicit attitudes are defined as overtly expressed, more or less deliberate evaluations, implicit attitudes are defined as automatically activated, gut-level evaluations. The supplementary use of implicit attitudes is consistent with current theorizing highlighting that deeply held and sometimes even unconscious evaluations influence media choice. Using a web-based study, we found that implicit and explicit attitudes toward television brands predicted choice. Each attitude construct predicted variance beyond that predicted by the other. We discuss implications by emphasizing the role of automatic, gut-level decision making in current high-choice media environments.
... Although news outlets still play a significant role as a source of news, citizens' news exposure is increasingly shaped by what others share on social media. With SNSs, audiences are not only being exposed to news in new ways; they can also influence what other people read on social media sites (Kaiser, Keller, and Kleinen-von K€ onigsl€ ow 2018) by engaging in gatekeeping decisions (Arendt, Steindl, and K€ umpel 2016). This means that ordinary people who do not practice professional journalism have the opportunity to serve as gatekeepers for their followers and friends on SNSs as they can pass along information to their social media friends, acquaintances, and followers (K€ umpel, Karnowski, and Keyling 2015). ...
... These developments give people new opportunities to select information in line with their political preferences-a phenomenon known as selective exposure (Knobloch-Westerwick 2015;Stroud 2011;Arceneaux and Johnson 2013). As with exposure decisions, people's sharing behavior can also be influenced by their prior beliefs and political preferences (Arendt, Steindl, and K€ umpel 2016). ...
... Such biased selection behavior is often explained by the theory of cognitive dissonance (Festinger 1954), that is, that people seek to reduce exposure to attitude-inconsistent information and increase exposure to attitude-consistent information. Although exposure and sharing decisions are conceptually distinct and have different causes (Liang 2018), people also tend to refrain from sharing content with which they disagree (Arendt, Steindl, and K€ umpel 2016;Shin and Thorson 2017). When people do share information they disagree with, the objective is not necessarily to recommend the content but rather to provide nuances or criticize the shared content through commenting (Anspach 2017). ...
Article
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While news outlets still play an important role as a source of news, people increasingly receive their political information and news from social networking sites (SNSs). This study extends the literature on exposure and sharing decisions on SNSs by exploring how different attributes shape such decisions, how the two decision types differ, and by disentangling the role played by personal news recommendations and shared news stories on SNSs. As SNSs add a social dimension, exposure and sharing decisions are contingent not only upon the news story itself (news-story attributes) but also upon characteristics of the person who shares the story (recommender attributes). We designed a conjoint experiment to disentangle the effects of recommender and news-story attributes on the decision to recommend and read news and fielded it in a probability-based Norwegian online survey. The results suggest that committing to reading and sharing information are two similar yet distinct phenomena and that selective sharing is a stronger commitment than selective exposure. We also found evidence to suggest that selective sharing of news featuring a favored political party was contingent upon whether one also received information about the recommender attributes.
... In so doing, the proposed model extends prior scholarship in two important ways. First, this study builds on insights from social cognition research, which indicates that (news) selection processes are not merely the outcome of controlled, evaluative judgments, but also originate from unconscious, media-induced evaluations (Arendt et al., 2016;Galdi et al., 2012;Peters & Gawronski, 2011). As such, this research offers novel insights into the antecedents of biased media selections. ...
... This selection-based finding is consistent with work from Arendt and colleagues (2016), which reveals that audience members' attitudes predict selection of news about political issues. In this, and related research, selection of news content is found not only to operate as a function of explicit, controlled processes but also to emerge based on implicit, unconscious mechanisms, with implicit stereotypes possibly exerting an even stronger influence than explicit views due to the incidental, associative nature of implicit bias (e.g., Appiah et al., 2013;Arendt et al., 2016). Given this, the relationship between selection and reinforcement can be better understood if the trait dimensions of stereotypes-known to prescribe distinct group-based emotions and behaviors-are considered. ...
... Participants were exposed to 20 choice trials. In each trial, participants were exposed to two headlines and asked to select the one they would most likely choose to read when they came across it in their everyday life (following Arendt et al., 2016;Galdi et al., 2012). Both the order of the trials and the order of the pairs of headlines were randomized. ...
Article
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This study moves beyond previous research by demonstrating how prior exposure to stereotypical content can reinforce the selection of comparable biased news content and by clarifying its intergroup and interpersonal consequences. With two experiments ( N = 236, N = 270), we show that media effects and selectivity of biased media content about Arabic migrant workers are connected by automatic (i.e., implicit) stereotypes. The findings reveal that exposure to moderate doses of stereotypic news primes affects the selection of biased news via implicit stereotypes and subsequently shifts intergroup and interpersonal outcomes in the direction of the activated biased beliefs. These effects did not surface for high doses of stereotypic news primes, suggesting that individuals resist and inhibit activation processes when exposure is perceived to be too extreme. As subtle forms of bias are omnipresent in news environments and implicit stereotypes operate partly under the radar of conscious awareness, they may affect selection without individuals being aware of it. The findings imply that audiences’ biased selectivity should not be seen in isolation from prior media exposure.
... Importantly, the theoretical background includes all kinds of environmental information and does not explicitly exclude the media, but surprisingly, the model (Beck, 1987) has neither been used to complement existing theorizing from communication science about media choices related to affect, mood, and cognitions (e.g., Arendt et al., 2017;Arendt et al., 2016;Knobloch-Westerwick, 2015a;Zillmann, 1988aZillmann, , 1988b nor has it been integrated with the general human tendency toward negativity in the news selection domain (see e.g., Bachleda et al., 2020;Soroka et al., 2019;Trussler & Soroka, 2014). Similar to Bachleda et al. (2020), we conceptualized depression as an individual-level predictor of a preference for negativity in the news. ...
... And finally, we captured news choice decision based on headline choices. Although this procedure has been successfully employed in other contexts of media choices (Arendt et al., 2017;Arendt et al., 2016), one could also consider more elaborate selective exposure designs DEPRESSION AS A PREDICTOR OF SELECTIVE EXPOSURE TO NEGATIVE NEWS 23 (Knobloch-Westerwick, 2015a) that include full-length articles with more information, different facets on a topic, and more nuances. ...
Article
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Research has constantly revealed that depressive symptoms usually include negative cognitions about the world, the future, and the self, termed the negative cognitive triad. More recently, research on the stress generation hypothesis found that depressed individuals self-select themselves into situations that resonate with their depressive symptoms. In the present study, we combined these two discoveries, applied them to everyday news selection, and questioned whether measures of depression explain news choices related to negative vs. positive news about the self, the world, and the future. We tested this idea in two independent selective exposure studies in Germany (N = 395) and South Korea (N = 225). Analyses indicated that explicit (not implicit) measures of depression were associated with news choice in favor of negative news in both countries. We discuss the implications of these findings for both selective exposure research and the understanding of depression.
... Journalistische Selektionsentscheidungen erfolgten dieser Erklärung nach impulsiv, also "aus dem Bauch heraus" (vgl. Arendt et al. 2016). ...
Article
Schlüsselereignisse fesseln die Aufmerksamkeit von Medien und Bevölkerung. Studien haben bereits gezeigt, dass nicht nur über das Schlüsselereignis selbst häufig und detailliert berichtet wird, sondern auch vermehrt über ähnliche Ereignisse, die auf irgendeine Weise mit dem Schlüsselereignis in Verbindung stehen. Wir untersuchten, ob das Schlüsselereignis „Silvesternacht in Köln“ eine substantielle Auswirkung auf die Kriminalitätsberichterstattung der folgenden Monate hatte. Wir vermuteten, dass spezifische Attribute (Ausländer, Migrationshintergrund, Nordafrikaner oder Asylbewerber) in der Kriminalitätsberichterstattung nach „Köln“ häufiger vorkamen. Durch veränderte journalistische Selektionsentscheidungen könnten einerseits mehr Ereignisse mit Tätern dieser Attributkategorien in die Berichterstattung aufgenommen worden sein (Selektion von Ereignissen). Zusätzlich könnte das Schlüsselereignis Selektionsentscheidungen beeinflusst haben, die die Nennung von ausländerspezifischen Attributen begünstigten (Selektion von Ereignismerkmalen). Eine quantitative Inhaltsanalyse der Kriminalitätsberichterstattung konnte eine Zunahme ausländerspezifischer Attribute nachweisen. Die Befunde haben unter anderem im Kontext einer aktuellen, gesellschaftlichen Debatte Bedeutung: Der deutsche Presserat empfiehlt, dass in der Kriminalitätsberichterstattung nur dann die Nationalität der Täter vorkommen sollte, wenn es einen „begründeten Sachbezug“ zur Tat gibt. Die Präsenz ausländerspezifischer Attribute ist bedeutsam, da die wiederholte Rezeption Vorstellungen und Einstellungen von Rezipienten über Ausländer und Asylbewerber und nachfolgend die gesellschaftliche Debatte beeinflussen kann.
... So long as news stories laden with values with which people identify or perceive as important are more influential on people's preferences and behavior, morality frames have a higher virality potential (Brady, Wills, Jost, Tucker, & Van Bavela, 2017). Relatedly, prior research has found that news sharing on social media is contingent upon users' attitudes, such that people tend to share content that reflect their viewpoints (Arendt, Steindl, & Kümpel, 2016). To the degree that sharing allows people to tell others what users think and believe, news with moral frames that resonate with users will be shared more often. ...
Article
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We hypothesize that generic frames influence what news people share on Facebook and Twitter through three different routes: emotions, motivations, and psychological engagement. Using a mixed-methods design, a content analysis of a representative sample of articles published in six Chilean outlets was combined with in-depth interviews with digital journalists. After controlling for issue, newsworthiness, informational utility, valence, and other confounds, results show that—across platforms—a morality frame increases news sharing, whereas a conflict frame decreases it. Emphasizing economic consequences also decreases sharing, but only on Facebook. Surprisingly, the human interest angle has no noticeable effects. These results show that news frames can have behavioral consequences, and confirm the existence of a gap between preferred frames of journalists and users.
... Individuals are especially likely to suppress the outward expression of negative attitudes toward minority groups (Valentino et al., 2002). For instance, the propositional implication of a negative affective reaction to a Muslim minority member (e.g., "My gut tells me I don't like this Muslim person") may not correspond with explicit propositions (e.g., "It is bad to evaluate members of disadvantaged minority groups negatively") (Arendt, Steindl, & Kümpel, 2016). The suppression of individuals' automatic evaluations as a basis for explicit attitudes may explain the typically low correspondence between implicit and explicit attitudes found in previous research (e.g., Hofmann, Gawronski, Gschwendner, Le, & Schmitt, 2005). ...
Article
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We explore the effects of anti‐Islamic right‐wing, populist political campaign ads on voting intention for a right‐wing populist party using a quota‐based online experiment (N = 174). Additionally, we investigate implicit attitudes (i.e., automatic affective associations) and explicit attitudes (i.e., overtly expressed evaluations) toward Muslims as underlying mechanisms of these effects. We find that exposure to the political campaign ads prompts explicit hostile attitudes toward Muslims mediated by implicit attitudes. Explicit attitudes in turn shape voting intention. Moreover, implicit attitudes toward Muslims predict voting preference beyond the influence of explicit attitudes. Thus, resentments toward Muslims may foster voters’ support for anti‐Islamic right‐wing populist parties even “under the radar” of conscious awareness. In sum, this study demonstrates for the first time the entire process of right‐wing, populist political campaign ads’ effects on voting preferences via implicit and explicit attitudes toward Muslims.
... Gerade bei einer oberflächlichen Verarbeitung von Nachrichteninhalten und daraus resultierenden impulsiven Entscheidungen bei der Selektion und Verbreitung (vgl. Arendt et al. 2016;Obermaier et al. 2014) dürften diese Merkmale eine schnelle und weite Diffusion begünstigen. ...
Article
Obwohl Fehlinformationen und Halbwahrheiten schon lange Teil der Mediengeschichte sind, wird dieses Phänomen gegenwärtig intensiv unter dem Label „Fake News“ diskutiert. Falschmeldungen umgehen die Gatekeeper-Funktion des professionellen Journalismus, behandeln polarisierende, moralisch aufgeladene Themen, sind ideologisch und/oder ökonomisch motiviert, setzen auf eine hohe Verständlichkeit und zielen auf emotionale Reaktionen ab. Dies soll eine rasante Verbreitung über soziale Netzwerkseiten begünstigen. In der Literatur wurde die Vermutung geäußert, dass Personen mit politischer Orientierung rechts der Mitte besonders anfällig für Fake News sind. Empirische Belege für diese Vermutung liegen jedoch kaum vor. In einer zweiwelligen webbasierten Studie mit Experimentaldesign (N = 519) testeten wir daher die Hypothese, dass der Effekt der Rezeption von Fake News auf den perzipierten Wahrheitsgehalt der den Fake News zugrunde liegenden Ereignisse von der individuellen politischen Orientierung abhängt. Unsere Befunde bestätigen diese Vermutung. Ein erhöhter perzipierter Wahrheitsgehalt von erfundenen Ereignissen ließ sich nur bei Personen mit politischer Orientierung rechts der Mitte nachweisen. Dieser Effekt war außerdem über die Zeit stabil. Zusätzlich testeten wir den Effekt von Warnhinweisen. Analysen deckten ein komplexes Wirkmuster auf. So zeigte der Warnhinweis bei Personen mit politischer Orientierung rechts der Mitte keine Wirkung. Wir diskutieren die Ergebnisse im Kontext möglicher Strategien, wie mit dem Phänomen irreführender Falschmeldungen gesellschaftlich umgegangen werden kann.
... Die Angehörigen tragen damit zum informierten Patienten bei, der seine Interessen gegenüber dem medizinischen Personal durchsetzen kann (Epstein 2013). Da die Angehörigen als Gatekeeper kontrollieren, welche Informationen weitergegeben werden und welche nicht (Arendt et al. 2016), ergeben sich hieraus aber auch potenziell negative Effekte. Es ist möglich, dass dadurch relevante Informationen vom Patienten ferngehalten werden oder die Informationsselektion nicht zum Wohl des Patienten stattfindet, sondern vor allem (möglicherweise auch unbewusst) den Interessen des Angehörigen dient. ...
Chapter
Auf der Basis der im zweiten Kapitel vorgestellten theoretischen Ansätze werden im drittel Kapitel verschiedene Kommunikationsrollen der Angehörigen abgeleitet. In der Logik des Two-Step-Flow of Support werden dabei zunächst die Rollen der Angehörigen mit ihren hilfreichen und weniger hilfreichen Aspekten sowie mit die funktionalen Alternativen und Krankheitsspezifika in den Blick genommen. Basierend auf den Funktionen der sozialen Unterstützung werden die Angehörigenrollen anhand der Unterstützungsarten differenziert. So leisten Angehörige neben 1) informationeller und 2) emotionaler Unterstützung, vor allem auch 3) Entscheidungsunterstützung sowie 4) instrumentelle Hilfe für den Patienten.
... Our research contributes to the growing field of news sharing in social media (Thurman et al., 2019;García-Perdomo et al., 2018;Arendt et al., 2016;Kümpel et al., 2015;Bright, 2016;Boczkowski et al., 2018), providing a valuable tool to derive sharing behavior from aggregate level data. The literature on news sharing is broad, considering subjective, social, rational, and emotional factors that explain sharing behavior. ...
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Why do readers share links to news articles in social media feeds? How important are ideological considerations, the reputation of a news organizations, and the attention of users to an issue? In this article, we describe a statistical model that takes as input a matrix of social media embeds and delivers estimates of the importance of ideological (cognitive) congruence , media reputation, and issue attention in news sharing. The proposed model allows researchers to (i) understand news consumption in different regions of a social network; (ii) decompose the demand for content revealed by users; and (iii) estimate the optimal editorial line if news organizations were solely interested in maximizing readership. All three contributions are theoretically informed and of substantive interest to students of the relationship between news consumption and social media. Results of our study also inform recent debates on gatekeeping behavior, modeling congruence between the media organization and users as content is activated in different regions of a social media network. We test the proposed model using news embeds in Twitter and compare three different events in the United States (#TravelBan), Brazil (#Bolsonaro), and Argentina (#Maldonado). The data includes 2,031,518 retweets from 241,271 high activity accounts of the #Trav-elBan; 2,943,993 retweets published by 162,107 high activity accounts from the #Bolsonaro election in Brazil; and 5,325,240 million retweets from 196,066 high activity accounts from the #Maldonado crisis in Argentina.
... Selective exposure can occur when the selected messages diverge from the composition of all accessible messages [34]. It enables people to defend their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors by avoiding information likely to challenge them, a phenomenon known as congeniality or confirmation bias [35]. ...
Article
In recent years, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in news consumption. In traditional news media organizations, a small number of expert editors are responsible for selecting news stories that are consumed by all news readers (the audience). However, with the growing popularity of social media as a news consumption medium, a part of the editorial power of selecting news stories has shifted to the audience who select and share the stories that can reach a large number of consumers. In this paper, we analyze data from two popular news media sites--The New York Times and The Guardian, and characterize the considerable differences in the types of stories selected by the audience and expert news editors. We also find that story selections by audience vary significantly across different social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and email. We contextualize the differences utilizing media and communication theory and discuss their implications for news readers and media organizations.
... For example, political orientations shape exposure to media sources and content (Gil de Zúñiga et al., 2012;Stroud, 2008), and individuals follow others on social media who share their beliefs (Bakshy et al., 2015). Overall, evidence indicates individual dispositions shape exposure to information and information sources online (Arendt et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Purpose The legitimacy crisis faced by law enforcement has been suggested to be the result of a new media environment where citizens can record encounters with police and place these recordings online. The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives of individuals who cop-watch, or record the police, but not the factors influencing visiting cop-watching websites. Design/methodology/approach Using a cross-sectional, national sample of 702 American adults, and drawing on theories of legal socialization and selective exposure, the current study examines the prevalence and correlates visiting “cop-watching” websites. Findings Approximately 9 percent of the sample reports having ever visited these sites. Results from a series of logistic regressions indicate legal cynicism is positively associated with having ever visited these sites, having done so recently, following these sites on social media and visiting these sites more frequently after Ferguson. Police legitimacy reduced the likelihood that individuals had ever visited these sites, but was unrelated to other outcomes. Research limitations/implications The cross-sectional nature of the survey precludes discussion of causality, but results are fairly consistent with theoretical expectations. Originality/value The current study reflects an early attempt to understand correlates of public consumption of “cop-watching” material.
... There is considerable evidence that similar biases affect individuals' decisions to circulate political content through social media. Survey research examining why individuals choose to circulate content demonstrates a consistent bias against the circulation of counterattitudinal content (i.e., material that contradicts individuals' preexisting beliefs; Arendt, Steindl, & Kümpel, 2016;Garrett, 2011;Weeks, Lane, Kim, Lee, & Kwak, 2017). ...
Article
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This article investigates the factors that shape the circulation of political content on social media. We analyze an experiment embedded within a nationally representative survey of U.S. youth that randomly assigned participants to see a short post designed to resemble content that circulates through social media. The post was experimentally manipulated to vary in both its ideology and whether it contained factually inaccurate information. In general, we found that participants' intentions to circulate a post on social media were strongly influenced by whether that post aligned with their ideology, but not by whether it contained misinformation. The relative effects of ideological alignment and misinformation were found to differ according to participants' level of political knowledge and engagement, indicating that different groups of young people are susceptible to particular kinds of misinformation.
... Findings regarding the political attitude conveyed in news stories disseminated on Facebook can also be regarded from this perspective. According to studies by Arendt, Steindl, and Kümpel (2016), An, Quercia, and Crowcroft (2013), and Pogorelskiy and Shum (2019), users seem to express their opinion and political position by linking like-minded news articles on Facebook and avoiding conflicting ones. However, other scholars found Facebook users to redistribute content from ideologically diverse news outlets (Barberá, Jost, Nagler, Tucker, & Bonneau, 2015;Morgan, Lampe, & Shafiq, 2013), too. ...
Thesis
Social networking sites have become an online realm where users are exposed to news about current affairs. People mainly encounter news incidentally because they are re-distributed by users whom they befriended or follow on social media platforms. In my dissertation project, I draw on shared reality theory in order to examine the question of how the relationship to the news endorser, the person who shares news content, determines social influence on opinion formation about shared news. The shared reality theory posits that people strive to achieve socially shared beliefs about any object and topic because of the fundamental epistemic need to establish what is real. Social verification of beliefs in interpersonal communication renders uncertain and ambiguous individual perceptions as valid and objectively true. However, reliable social verification may be provided only by others who are regarded as epistemic authority, in other words as someone whose judgment one can trust. People assign epistemic authority particularly to socially close others, such as friends and family, or to members of their in-group. I inferred from this that people should be influenced by the view of a socially close news endorser when forming an opinion about shared news content but not by the view of a socially distant news endorser. In Study 1, a laboratory experiment (N = 226), I manipulated a female news endorser’s social closeness by presenting her as an in-group or out-group member. Participants’ opinion and memory of a news article were not affected by the news endorser’s opinion in either of the conditions. I concluded that the news article did not elicit motivation to strive for shared reality because participants were confident about their own judgment. Therefore, they did not rely on the news endorser’s view when forming an opinion about the news topic. Moreover, the results revealed that participants had stronger trust in the news endorser when she expressed a positive (vs. negative) opinion about the news topic, while social closeness to the news endorser did not predict trust. On the one hand, this is in line with the social norm of sharing positive thoughts and experiences on social networking sites: adherence to the positivity norm results in more favorable social ratings. On the other hand, my findings indicate that participants generally had a positive opinion about the topic of the stimulus article and thus had more trust in news endorsers who expressed a similar opinion. In Study 2, an online experiment (N = 1, 116), I exposed participants to a news post by a relational close vs. relational distant news endorser by having them name a close or distant actual Facebook friend. There was a small influence of the news endorser’s opinion on participants’ thought and opinion valence irrespective of whether the news endorser was a close or distant friend. The finding was surprising, particularly because participants reported stronger trust in the view of the close friend than in the view of a distant friend. I concluded that in light of an ambiguity eliciting news article, people may even rely on the views of less trustworthy news endorsers in order to establish a socially shared and, therefore, valid opinion about a news topic. Drawing on shared reality theory, I hypothesized that social influence on opinion formation is mediated by news endorser congruent responses to a news post. The results indicated a tendency for the proposed indirect relation however, the effect size was small and the sample in Study 2 was not large enough to provide the necessary statistical power to detect the mediation. In conclusion, the results of my empirical studies provide first insights regarding the conditions under which a single news endorser influences opinion formation about news shared on social networking sites. I found limited support for shared reality creation as underlying mechanism of such social influence. Thus, my work contributes to the understanding of social influence on news perception happening in social networking sites and proposes theoretical refinements to shared reality theory. I suggest that future research should focus on the role of social and affiliative motivation for social influences on opinion formation about news shared on social networking sites.
... There is considerable evidence that similar biases affect individuals' decisions to circulate political content through social media. Survey research examining why individuals choose to circulate content demonstrates a consistent bias against the circulation of counterattitudinal content (i.e., material that contradicts individuals' preexisting beliefs; Arendt, Steindl, & Kümpel, 2016;Garrett, 2011;Weeks, Lane, Kim, Lee, & Kwak, 2017). ...
... The theory of selective exposure, for instance, proposes that people are less likely to consume or interact with diverse news and information (Shin and Thorson 2017;Stroud 2008Stroud , 2011. News audiences' political beliefs and preferences also influence their news-sharing behaviours (Arendt, Steindl, and K€ umpel 2016). In addition, individuals' personality, emotions, and motivations have an influence on their news sharing decisions (Dafonte-G omez 2018). ...
Article
People seek out and interpret political information in self-serving ways. In four experiments, we show that people are similarly self-serving in the political information they share with others. Participants learned about positive and negative effects of increasing the minimum wage (in Studies 1–3) or of banning assault weapons (Study 4). They then indicated how likely they would be to mention each effect to close others. Participants were more inclined to share information that was consistent with their political orientation than information that was not. This effect persisted even when participants believed the information, suggesting that selective communication is not just a reflection of motivated skepticism. We also observed ideological differences. Liberals were most biased with their political opponents, whereas conservatives were most biased with their political allies. This biased information sharing could distort the flow of political information through social networks in ways that exacerbate political polarization.
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La nueva tendencia de polarización política de los medios de comunicación en España lleva a los autores de este trabajo a replantearse la relación entre medios de comunicación y ciudadanos dentro de la teoría de la exposición, percepción y retención selectiva y su influencia en el comportamiento electoral. La selección de contenidos de información política que llevan a cabo los ciudadanos durante las campañas electorales conforma una dieta que afecta a su voto. Por ello, en este artículo de investigación, se intenta esclarecer la relación existente entre el consumo de información política a través de diferentes medios de comunicación de masas y el comportamiento electoral de los votantes desde la nueva realidad mediática existente en el país. Para ello, y según las encuestas poselectorales del Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS), se han estudiado los efectos en el voto de la exposición mediática de los ciudadanos en las elecciones generales de 2015 y las de 2016, aquellas en las cuales se produjo una crisis en el sistema de partidos en España tras varias décadas de bipartidismo y estabilidad institucional. Los resultados permiten concluir que la discusión política en el país se encuentra estructurada en dos ejes de confrontación: el ideológico (izquierda-derecha), pero también uno territorial, que polariza políticamente aquellos ciudadanos de territorios con identidad territorial propio (principalmente Cataluña). De esta forma, la narrativa política está altamente influenciada por los medios, ya que los electores utilizan el consumo mediático como símbolo de reafirmación electoral siguiendo la información política de medios afines.
Chapter
Digital platforms are becoming increasingly relevant for the constitution of markets. As they can be used in a multifunctional way, platforms are also having a massive impact on the provision and dissemination of both public and private information. Moreover, they are playing a significant role in social exchange. Platforms that facilitate the provision and dissemination of media content and journalistic work are having both economic and cultural effects on the traditional media and communications industry, which is becoming irrelevant and losing income from advertising and users. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, especially are becoming important means for certain social groups to acquire up-to-date information. Platforms and their growth and development are influencing both the traditional media and journalism, which is becoming clear from the growing financial crisis these two sectors are experiencing. The unfolding transformation process is having diverse effects on both the public sphere and on information and communication processes, which in turn is affecting liberal democracy. These changes require specific attention in both interdisciplinary research and politics (the design of a media and communications landscape, regulation, etc.). With contributions by Klaus Beck, Patrick Donges, Otfried Jarren, Katharina von Kleinen-Königslow, Frank Löbigs, Christoph Neuberger, Manuel Puppis
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People’s news diets are shaped by a diverse set of selection biases that may be unconscious in nature. This study investigates whether providing individuals with information about such unconscious biases attenuates selective exposure. More specifically, in two selective-exposure experiments among Dutch ingroup members focusing on ethnic (N = 286) and religious (N = 277) minorities, we expose individuals to their unconscious prejudices as measured by the Implicit Association Test (IAT) before documenting their news-selection patterns. Findings indicate that the effectiveness of this awareness-inducing strategy depends upon existing levels of implicit and explicit prejudice and overly expressed acceptance of the IAT scores. This implies that raising awareness of implicit prejudice works as an effective strategy for fighting biased news selection for some, but may backfire for others, and should therefore only be implemented with caution and attention for explicit considerations.
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This article provides a review of scientific, peer-reviewed articles that examine the relationship between news sharing and social media in the period from 2004 to 2014. A total of 461 articles were obtained following a literature search in two databases (Communication & Mass Media Complete [CMMC] and ACM), out of which 109 were deemed relevant based on the study’s inclusion criteria. In order to identify general tendencies and to uncover nuanced findings, news sharing research was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Three central areas of research—news sharing users, content, and networks—were identified and systematically reviewed. In the central concluding section, the results of the review are used to provide a critical diagnosis of current research and suggestions on how to move forward in news sharing research.
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Attitude and norm accessibility influence social behavior and how messages are processed. The Motivation and Opportunity as DEterminants (MODE) model is offered as a framework for understanding when attitude and norm accessibility should play an important role in social behavior. In this article, we outline the MODE model and consider the implications of the MODE model for both how people process media messages and the consequences of media messages.
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The hypothesis of selective exposure assumes that people seek out information that supports their views and eschew information that conflicts with their beliefs, and that has negative consequences on our society. Few researchers have recently found counter evidence of selective exposure in social media: users are exposed to politically diverse articles. No work has looked at what happens after exposure, particularly how individuals react to such exposure, though. Users might well be exposed to diverse articles but share only the partisan ones. To test this, we study partisan sharing on Facebook: the tendency for users to predominantly share like-minded news articles and avoid conflicting ones. We verified four main hypotheses. That is, whether partisan sharing: 1) exists at all; 2) changes across individuals (e.g., depending on their interest in politics); 3) changes over time (e.g., around elections); and 4) changes depending on perceived importance of topics. We indeed find strong evidence for partisan sharing. To test whether it has any consequence in the real world, we built a web application for BBC viewers of a popular political program, resulting in a controlled experiment involving more than 70 individuals. Based on what they share and on survey data, we find that partisan sharing has negative consequences: distorted perception of reality. However, we do also find positive aspects of partisan sharing: it is associated with people who are more knowledgeable about politics and engage more with it as they are more likely to vote in the general elections.
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The emerging media environment introduced fundamental changes in the quality and format of information available to the public, which can now flexibly seek, alter, and disseminate the information they receive. Therefore, the two processes of information selection and information retransmission are crucial for understanding the reach of any information available in the online information environment. From this starting point, we examine the common psychological motives driving information selection and transmission of attitude-relevant information: defense and accuracy motives adding a focus on interpersonal motives. We also review message factors that can activate psychological motives leading to selection or retransmission of information, such as the desire for novelty and emotional stimulation. We speculate about the directions for the next generation of research necessary to understand exposure as a core outcome in media effects research and theory.
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This article analyzes the Kuhnian paradigmatic status in the field of mass communication. It is suggested that the field's first paradigm, Media Effects, is in a state of crisis rather than a preparadigmatic state or a state of normal science. Finally, this article proposes a description of the current paradigm‐in‐crisis, suggests ways in which conceptions of the fundamental nature of what we are studying may be shifting, and proposes the elements of a new paradigm which may be emerging in the field.
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We test an uninvestigated proposition from spiral of silence theory that fear of social isolation (FSI) prompts people to seek out information about the climate of public opinion. Taking a trait-based individual difference perspective, the authors develop and validate a measure of FSI that is less likely to produce the interpretational problems that plague existing measures. Then, using data from eight countries spread across four continents, the authors examine whether those who fear social isolation to a greater extent are more likely to attend to a particular source of information in the social environment about public opinion—mass media reports of public opinion polls. Study results support spiral of silence theory’s prediction—FSI does appear to motivate people to ascertain what the public thinks. However, there may be some cultural boundaries to this process.
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An experiment with two computer-based sessions (complete data for 156 participants) examined selective exposure to attitude-consistent and counterattitudinal media messages. In the first session, participants indicated interest in politics and news, political attitudes, with four target issues embedded, along with attitude certainty and importance. Attitude accessibility data were derived from response latencies. In the second session, participants browsed an online opinion forum with eight texts about four issues, each with a pair of articles presenting opposing views. Selective exposure was unobtrusively recorded by software and coded as attitude-consistent and counterattitudinal based on individual participants' attitudes. Results show that attitude-consistent exposure dominated regardless of particular issue, with 36% more reading time. Higher habitual news use and attitude certainty both fostered attitude-consistent exposure. Selection of counterattitudinal articles was more likely among participants with greater interest in politics, conservative party preference, stronger party preference, more accessible attitudes, and higher attitude importance.
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This study contributes to gatekeeping theory by examining the importance of individual-level subconscious psychological factors in news story fact selection, specifically whether the thought of death increases biased writing toward outgroups. An experiment (N = 79), based on terror management theory from social psychology, indicated that college journalists primed to think about death injected into their news stories 66% more negative facts toward a rival university than those in a control condition. Implications for mass media research, particularly individual-level psychological factors overriding routine gatekeeping forces, are discussed.
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People often show a preference for information that confirms their attitudes and beliefs, and this tendency is reduced for opinions that are not held with conviction. The present study shows that both decided and undecided individuals show a tendency to selectively expose themselves to confirmatory information, albeit with different antecedents and consequences. Whereas selective exposure in decided participants was predicted by conscious beliefs and not by automatic associations, selective exposure in undecided participants was predicted by automatic associations and not by conscious beliefs. Moreover, selective exposure led undecided participants to adopt conscious beliefs that were in line with their preexisting automatic associations. Conversely, for decided participants, selective exposure shifted automatic associations in a direction that was in line with their preexisting conscious beliefs. Implications for decision making and mutual influences of automatic associations and conscious beliefs in attitude change are discussed.
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This review of 122 research reports (184 independent samples, 14,900 subjects) found average r = .274 for prediction of behavioral, judgment, and physiological measures by Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures. Parallel explicit (i.e., self-report) measures, available in 156 of these samples (13,068 subjects), also predicted effectively (average r = .361), but with much greater variability of effect size. Predictive validity of self-report was impaired for socially sensitive topics, for which impression management may distort self-report responses. For 32 samples with criterion measures involving Black-White interracial behavior, predictive validity of IAT measures significantly exceeded that of self-report measures. Both IAT and self-report measures displayed incremental validity, with each measure predicting criterion variance beyond that predicted by the other. The more highly IAT and self-report measures were intercorrelated, the greater was the predictive validity of each.
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This theoretical integration of social psychology's main cognitive and affective constructs was shaped by 3 influences: (a) recent widespread interest in automatic and implicit cognition, (b) development of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. K. Schwartz. 1998), and (c) social psychology's consistency theories of the 1950s, especially F. Heider's (1958) balance theory. The balanced identity design is introduced as a method to test correlational predictions of the theory. Data obtained with this method revealed that predicted consistency patterns were strongly apparent in the data for implicit (IAT) measures but not in those for parallel explicit (self-report) measures. Two additional not-yet-tested predictions of the theory are described.
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This article describes a 2-systems model that explains social behavior as a joint function of reflective and impulsive processes. In particular, it is assumed that social behavior is controlled by 2 interacting systems that follow different operating principles. The reflective system generates behavioral decisions that are based on knowledge about facts and values, whereas the impulsive system elicits behavior through associative links and motivational orientations. The proposed model describes how the 2 systems interact at various stages of processing, and how their outputs may determine behavior in a synergistic or antagonistic fashion. It extends previous models by integrating motivational components that allow more precise predictions of behavior. The implications of this reflective-impulsive model are applied to various phenomena from social psychology and beyond. Extending previous dual-process accounts, this model is not limited to specific domains of mental functioning and attempts to integrate cognitive, motivational, and behavioral mechanisms.
Book
Mediated messages flood our daily lives, through virtually endless choices of media channels, genres, and content. However, selectivity determines what media messages we attend to and focus on. The present book examines the factors that influence this selectivity. Seminal books on selective media exposure were published in 1960 by Klapper and in 1985 by Zillmann and Bryant. But an integrated update on this research field is much needed, as rigorous selective exposure research has flourished in the new millennium. In the contexts of political communication, health communication, Internet use, entertainment consumption, and electronic games, the crucial question of how individuals choose what content they consume has garnered much attention. The present book integrates theories and empirical evidence from these domains and discusses the related research methodologies. In light of the ever-increasing abundance of media channels and messages, selective exposure has become more important than ever for media impacts. This monograph provides a comprehensive review of the research on selective exposure to media messages, which is at the heart of communication science and media effects. It is required reading for media scholars and researchers, and promises to influence and inspire future research.
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One might think that, compared to traditional media, social media sites allow people to choose more freely what to read and what to share, especially for politically oriented news. However, reading and sharing habits originate from deeply ingrained behaviors that might be hard to change. To test the extent to which this is true, we propose a Political News Sharing (PoNS) model that holistically captures four key aspects of social psychology: gratification, selective exposure, socialization, and trust & intimacy. Using real instances of political news sharing in Twitter, we study the predictive power of these features. As one might expect, news sharing heavily depends on what one likes and agrees with (selective exposure). Interestingly, it also depends on the credibility of a news source, i.e., whether the source is a social media friend or a news outlet (trust & intimacy) as well as on the informativeness or the enjoyment of the news article (gratification). Finally, a Twitter user tends to share articles matching his own political leaning but, at times, the user also shares politically opposing articles, if those match the leaning of his followers (socialization). Based on our PoNS model, we build a prototype of a news sharing application that promotes serendipitous political readings along our four dimensions.
Book
Gatekeeping is one of the media's central roles in public life: people rely on mediators to transform information about billions of events into a manageable number of media messages. This process determines not only which information is selected, but also what the content and nature of messages, such as news, will be. Gatekeeping Theory describes the powerful process through which events are covered by the mass media, explaining how and why certain information either passes through gates or is closed off from media attention. This book is essential for understanding how even single, seemingly trivial gatekeeping decisions can come together to shape an audience's view of the world, and illustrates what is at stake in the process.
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Implicit social cognition Some of the most influential examples of scientific genius start with a powerful idea followed by development of methods to evaluate it. Einstein's theories of relativity were a remarkable insight that inspired decades of methodological innovation to confirm them. Most scientists, however, are no Einstein. Scientific progress can also accelerate rapidly in the reverse direction. Methods may generate evidence that inspires new ideas and theories. This is evident, for example, in Nobel Prize winner citations over a 13-year span for Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology and Medicine. Eighty-four percent of the citations credited a methodological achievement as the primary basis for the prize as opposed to a theoretical advance (Greenwald, 2001). In empirical research, theory and method are interdependent. Theoretical advances may spur methodological innovation by identifying a new possibility that has not yet been investigated. Methodological advances may spur theoretical innovation by producing evidence that existing theories ...
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The use of implicit measures of attitudes has great potential to advance our understanding of process and mechanism in the field of communication. These measures assess automatically activated attitudes, which have the potential to influence spontaneous decisions and outcomes, and may operate, to some extent, below individuals' consciousness. A large number of implicit measures have been developed and tested. These measures use a variety of different procedures and have various strengths and limitations. This piece provides an overview of three types of implicit measures of attitudes: (a) evaluative priming measures, (b) the implicit association test (IAT) and several of its variants, and (c) the recently developed affect misattribution procedure (AMP). Emphasis is placed on issues of mechanism, reliability, validity, and strengths and limitations of each measure.
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This special issue of Communication Methods and Measures tackles difficult questions relating to the empirical study of politically motivated selective exposure. In this brief response, I reflect on the state of the research area and attempt to bring these articles into conversation with one another and with the larger field. My essay is organized in terms of four broad themes: the debate over selective avoidance, the value of big data, the changing technological landscape, and the emphasis on boundary conditions. Collectively, the works in this issue raise important methodological questions and provide theoretical and empirical guidance for how scholars might answer them going forward. Coupled with innovative theorizing, these insights promise to advance our field in important ways.
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Current research draws a distinction between stereotype activation and application. Building on this differentiation, we present an implicit social cognition model of media priming: Implicit stereotypes (i.e., automatically activated stereotypes) are the outcome of associative processes, whereas explicit stereotypes (i.e., overtly expressed judgments) represent the outcome of propositional processes. We tested some of the model's basic predictions in an experiment. We found that a Gaussian distribution function explained the explicit media priming effect (i.e., decay in effect size at very high dose levels). However, a monotonic function explained the implicit media priming effect. This indicates that stereotypic content may impact implicit stereotypes even if the mass-mediated content is perceived as invalid. We discuss this finding regarding possible media-based reduction strategies.
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Scholars warn that avoidance of attitude-discrepant political information is becoming increasingly common due in part to an ideologically fragmented online news environment that allows individuals to systematically eschew contact with ideas that differ from their own. Data collected over a series of national RDD surveys conducted between 2004 and 2008 challenge this assertion, demonstrating that Americans’ use of attitude-consistent political sources is positively correlated with use of more attitudinally challenging sources. This pattern holds over time and across different types of online outlets, and applies even among those most strongly committed to their political ideology, although the relationship is weaker for this group. Implications for these findings are discussed.
Book
Human beings are consummate rationalizers, but rarely are we rational. Controlled deliberation is a bobbing cork on the currents of unconscious information processing, but we have always the illusion of standing at the helm. This book presents a theory of the architecture and mechanisms that determine when, how, and why unconscious thoughts, the coloration of feelings, the plausibility of goals, and the force of behavioral dispositions change moment-by-moment in response to “priming” events that spontaneously link changes in the environment to changes in beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. Far from the consciously directed decision-making assumed by conventional models, political behavior is the result of innumerable unnoticed forces, with conscious deliberation little more than a rationalization of the outputs of automatic feelings and inclinations.
Article
Lewin's concept of “force” is explored in this study, which shows support for the proposition that newspaper gatekeeping is influenced more by forces on the routine level of analysis than by individual staff writers' characteristics. Newspaper stories about fifty Congressional bills were content analyzed, and two surveys were conducted of the stories' writers and of editors at their newspapers. No individual-level force was related to the quantity of coverage the bills received, whereas editors' aggregated assessment of bills' newsworthiness was positively related to quantity of bills' newspaper coverage.
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A central theme in contemporary psychology is the distinction between implicit and explicit evaluations. Research has shown various dissociations between the two kinds of evaluations, including different antecedents, different consequences, and discrepant evaluations of the same object. The associative–propositional evaluation (APE) model accounts for these dissociations by conceptualizing implicit and explicit evaluations as the outcomes of two qualitatively distinct processes. Whereas implicit evaluations are described as the outcome of associative processes, explicit evaluations represent the outcome of propositional processes. Associative processes are further specified as the activation of mental associations on the basis of feature similarity and spatiotemporal contiguity; propositional processes are defined as the validation of activated information on the basis of logical consistency. The APE model includes specific assumptions about the mutual interplay between associative and propositional processes, implying a wide range of predictions about symmetric and asymmetric changes in implicit and explicit evaluations. The current chapter reviews the conceptual and empirical assumptions of the APE model and evidence in support of its predictions. In addition, we discuss conceptual and empirical challenges for the APE model and various directions for future research on implicit and explicit evaluation.
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This study integrates network and content analyses to examine exposure to cross-ideological political views on Twitter. We mapped the Twitter networks of 10 controversial political topics, discovered clusters subgroups of highly self-connected users and coded messages and links in them for political orientation. We found that Twitter users are unlikely to be exposed to cross-ideological content from the clusters of users they followed, as these were usually politically homogeneous. Links pointed at grassroots web pages (e.g.: blogs) more frequently than traditional media websites. Liberal messages, however, were more likely to link to traditional media. Last, we found that more specific topics of controversy had both conservative and liberal clusters, while in broader topics, dominant clusters reflected conservative sentiment.
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A study of 16 daily newspaper telegraph editors in Wisconsin reveals that the average desk-man is “caught in a strait jacket of mechanical details,” with the press association playing the major role as a selector of news. The author is assistant professor of journalism at the University of California.
Article
We propose a model of motivated skepticism that helps explain when and why citizens are biased-information processors. Two experimental studies explore how citizens evaluate arguments about affirmative action and gun control, finding strong evidence of a prior attitude effect such that attitudinally congruent arguments are evaluated as stronger than attitudinally incongruent arguments. When reading pro and con arguments, participants (Ps) counterargue the contrary arguments and uncritically accept supporting arguments, evidence of a disconfirmation bias. We also find a confirmation bias—the seeking out of confirmatory evidence—when Ps are free to self-select the source of the arguments they read. Both the confirmation and disconfirmation biases lead to attitude polarization—the strengthening of t2 over t1 attitudes—especially among those with the strongest priors and highest levels of political sophistication. We conclude with a discussion of the normative implications of these findings for rational behavior in a democracy.
Article
In one of the first studies of its kind, all the wire stories used and all those rejected by a non-metropolitan newspaper over a seven-day period are classified by content, and the reasons given by the telegraph editor for his choices are analyzed. Dr. White is research professor of journalism at Boston University.
Article
We show that the demand for news varies with the perceived affinity of the news organization to the consumer’s political preferences. In an experimental setting, conservatives and Republicans preferred to read news reports attributed to Fox News and to avoid news from CNN and NPR. Democrats and liberals exhibited exactly the opposite syndrome—dividing their attention equally between CNN and NPR, but avoiding Fox News. This pattern of selective exposure based on partisan affinity held not only for news coverage of controversial issues but also for relatively ‘‘soft’’ subjects such as crime and travel. The tendency to select news based on anticipated agreement was also strengthened among more politically engaged partisans. Overall, these results suggest that the further proliferation of new media and enhanced media choices may contribute to the further polarization of the news audience.
Article
This book is "primarily a collation of the findings of published research… . Part I deals with mass communication as an agent of persuasion… . Part II deals with the effects of specific kinds of media content." A new orientation is suggested: the "Phenomenistic" approach which "is in essence a shift away from the tendency to regard mass communication as a necessary and sufficient cause of audience effects, toward a view of the media as influences, working amid other influences, in a total situation." The following generalizations are central to organizing the research findings: (a) mass communication by itself does not act as a necessary and suficient cause of audience effects and (b) mass communication typically reinforces existing conditions, rather than changing them. (270 ref.) From Psyc Abstracts 36:01:1GI02K. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper presents an information-processing model that is directly applicable to the investigation of how mediated messages are processed. It applies the model to the case of television viewing to demonstrate its applicability. It provides a measure for each part of the model. It presents evidence that supports the model in the television-viewing situation. Finally, it demonstrates how the model may be used to further research and understanding in well-known theoretical traditions. This model is not meant to stand in opposition to any of these theories but, rather, should work well with them by providing hypothesized mechanisms that may underlie well-known effects. This model should prove useful both to researchers and, eventually, to message producers. To the extent that we can better understand how the content and structure of messages interact with a viewer's information-processing system to determine which parts and how much of a communication message is remembered, we will make great strides in understanding how people communicate.
Article
We report the results of three experimental tests of the “hot cognition” hypothesis, which posits that all sociopolitical concepts that have been evaluated in the past are affectively charged and that this affective charge is automatically activated within milliseconds on mere exposure to the concept, appreciably faster than conscious appraisal of the object. We find support for the automaticity of affect toward political leaders, groups, and issues; specifically: We conclude with a discussion of the “so what?” question—the conceptual, substantive, and normative implications of hot cognition for political judgments, evaluations, and choice. One clear expectation, given that affect appears to be activated automatically on mere exposure to sociopolitical concepts, is that most citizens, but especially those sophisticates with strong political attitudes, will be biased information processors.
Article
Recent events indicate that sharing news in social media has become a phenomenon of increasing social, economic and political importance because individuals can now participate in news production and diffusion in large global virtual communities. Yet, knowledge about factors influencing news sharing in social media remains limited. Drawing from the uses and gratifications (U&G) and social cognitive theories (SCT), this study explored the influences of information seeking, socializing, entertainment, status seeking and prior social media sharing experience on news sharing intention. A survey was designed and administered to 203 students in a large local university. Results from structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis revealed that respondents who were driven by gratifications of information seeking, socializing, and status seeking were more likely to share news in social media platforms. Prior experience with social media was also a significant determinant of news sharing intention. Implications and directions for future work are discussed.
Article
Social psychologists have learned a great deal about the nature of intergroup conflict and the attitudinal and cognitive processes that enable it. Less is known about where these processes come from in the first place. In particular, do our strategies for dealing with other groups emerge in the absence of human-specific experiences? One profitable way to answer this question has involved administering tests that are conceptual equivalents of those used with adult humans in other species, thereby exploring the continuity or discontinuity of psychological processes. We examined intergroup preferences in a nonhuman species, the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). We found the first evidence that a nonhuman species automatically distinguishes the faces of members of its own social group from those in other groups and displays greater vigilance toward outgroup members (Experiments 1-3). In addition, we observed that macaques spontaneously associate novel objects with specific social groups and display greater vigilance to objects associated with outgroup members (Experiments 4-5). Finally, we developed a looking time procedure-the Looking Time Implicit Association Test, which resembles the Implicit Association Test (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995)-and we discovered that macaques, like humans, automatically evaluate ingroup members positively and outgroup members negatively (Experiments 6-7). These field studies represent the first controlled experiments to examine the presence of intergroup attitudes in a nonhuman species. As such, these studies suggest that the architecture of the mind that enables the formation of these biases may be rooted in phylogenetically ancient mechanisms.
Article
Dual-system models of reasoning attribute errors of judgment to two failures: the automatic operations of a 'System 1' generate a faulty intuition, which the controlled operations of a 'System 2' fail to detect and correct. We identify System 1 with the automatic operations of associative memory and draw on research in the priming paradigm to describe how it operates. We explain how three features of associative memory--associative coherence, attribute substitution and processing fluency--give rise to major biases of intuitive judgment. Our article highlights both the ability of System 1 to create complex and skilled judgments and the role of the system as a source of judgment errors.
Article
A meta-analysis assessed whether exposure to information is guided by defense or accuracy motives. The studies examined information preferences in relation to attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in situations that provided choices between congenial information, which supported participants' pre-existing attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors, and uncongenial information, which challenged these tendencies. Analyses indicated a moderate preference for congenial over uncongenial information (d=0.36). As predicted, this congeniality bias was moderated by variables that affect the strength of participants' defense motivation and accuracy motivation. In support of the importance of defense motivation, the congeniality bias was weaker when participants' attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors were supported prior to information selection; when participants' attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors were not relevant to their values or not held with conviction; when the available information was low in quality; when participants' closed-mindedness was low; and when their confidence in the attitude, belief, or behavior was high. In support of the importance of accuracy motivation, an uncongeniality bias emerged when uncongenial information was relevant to accomplishing a current goal.
Article
On the basis of a functional perspective, we hypothesized that negative stimuli are detected faster than positive stimuli. In Experiment 1, participants were subliminally presented with positive and negative words or with no words at all. After each presentation, participants were asked whether they had seen a word. They detected negative words more accurately than positive words. In Experiment 2, participants were subliminally presented with negative or positive words. After each presentation, they were asked whether the presented word was positive or negative. Negative words were correctly categorized more often than positive words. Experiment 3 showed that although participants correctly categorized negative words more often than positive words. they could not guess the meaning of the words better than would be expected by chance. The results are discussed against the background of recent findings on basic affective processes.