Kim, Lu study: Access influences selective news exposure
Consumers’ selective exposure to news sources that share their political views may be more of an issue of access than selection, according to a study published by doctoral candidate Minchul Kim and Yanqin Lu, MA’13, PhD’17.
“Testing Partisan Selective Exposure in Multidimensional Choice Context: Evidence from a Conjoint Experiment” appears in the latest issue of Mass Communication and Society.
In a conjoint experiment, the researchers simulated the iOS news app and asked subjects to choose between headlines of varying topics (political v. entertainment), sources (left-leaning, right-leaning and mainstream), social endorsement and publication dates. They designed the experiment to overcome shortcomings of past selective exposure studies, such as limited options and a lack of consideration of external factors.
They found that while people who identify with a political party preferred selecting news from pro-attitudinal sources, they also selected news from counter-attitudinal sources at least 20 percent of the time.
The study was funded by the Kern Scholarship for Innovation in Journalism.