University of Twente Student Theses


Incidental news exposure online and its impact on well-being

Hering, Annelie (2020) Incidental news exposure online and its impact on well-being.

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Abstract:Research indicates that consuming predominantly negative news is detrimental for emotional well-being. As well as the amount of time spent on consuming news is a factor affecting well-being. Most literature investigating the influences of news on mental health focussed on traditional news media as TV broadcasts. Nowadays new media plays a big role in retrieving news, especially social media, and online news websites. However, news on social media are mainly of incidental nature and are processed rather passively. The aim of the study is to extend knowledge by exploring incidental news and its impact on well-being. Hence, the constructs of incidental news exposure, negative or so-called hard news, well-being and social media use are investigated by using a questionnaire. Participants were recruited via convenience sampling and a total of 163 completed the survey questions. Surprisingly, analysing the data led to the conclusion that incidental news exposure does not impact well-being. Nonetheless, it was found that spending more time on social media leads to higher exposure to incidental news. Concluding, from the results it is important to consider the passive processes implied when faced with incidental news. As attention might be a strong explanatory variable for the non-significant associations. The study and its findings are interesting to consider for future research. Limitations and prospects for further research are discussed below.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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