Clicks vs. Facts : The Media’s Role in Political Information and How Emotional and Behavioral Political Involvement is Associated with Perceived Bias
Fay, Martha J.
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There is a direct relationship between consumer trust in media and level of involvement with an issue; research shows people who are involved in a group or issue are highly knowledgeable on the topic and will therefore scrutinize information that disagrees with their opinion. Political issues in particular evoke intense emotion and lead to this kind of close scrutinization. Intense emotion affects a person's willingness to seek further information on an issue and/or their latitude of acceptance, rejection, and noncommitment of a particular media account. This effect is exacerbated by findings showing that political party affiliation is associated with perception of media bias, with those on the left discrediting right-leaning media and vice versa. Social judgment theory suggests that one’s beliefs impact viewpoint polarization and perception of media bias. Further, this study examines whether perceptions of media bias and credibility moderate the relationship between behavioral and emotional involvement. The survey was distributed through snowball sampling and participants were surveyed to determine whether their level of involvement with political issues is associated with information seeking and viewpoint polarization.
Press and politics
Mass media and public opinion