Why do people (sometimes) become selective about news?

Author(s)
Hyunjin Song
Abstract

Recent advances in partisan selective exposure research have provided compelling evidence for the distinction between selective approach and selective avoidance. Yet, the questions of whether, how, and to what extent discrete emotions systematically shape either of these patterns has not been sufficiently addressed. This study explores the differential roles of fear, anger, and enthusiasm in selective approach to and selective avoidance of partisan news programs, focusing on partisan differences in regard to a person’s general approach versus avoidance tendencies to external stimuli as a possible moderating mechanism. A secondary analysis of the 2012 American National Election Studies (ANES) data suggested that fear and anger both significantly increased pro-attitudinal news exposure, whereas only anger decreased counter-attitudinal news exposure. In addition, Republicans exhibit these patterns to a greater extent than Democrats. Furthermore, enthusiasm significantly predicted exposure to pro-attitudinal news for both Republicans and Democrats, whereas Democrats were significantly more likely than Republicans to increase their counter-attitudinal news exposure as a function of enthusiasm. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

Organisation(s)
Department of Communication
Journal
Mass Communication and Society
ISSN
1520-5436
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2016.1187755
Publication date
06-2016
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508007 Communication science
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/why-do-people-sometimes-become-selective-about-news(7ce57c4c-f8a9-4f8a-887c-4bb5e97bdb92).html