University of Twente Student Theses


You are right! Right? : A study into selective processing of one-sided news

Wessels, Michelle (2021) You are right! Right? : A study into selective processing of one-sided news.

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Abstract:Previous studies on confirmation bias in news consumption have expressed concerns as the increased consumption of one-sided news has resulted in more polarised political opinions. The current study investigated whether more pronounced effects of confirmation bias in news consumption occur when individuals are motivated to protect their viewpoint on subjects that reflect their worldview or ego, known as defense motivation. Four Facebook articles were incorporated in an online survey with 316 participants, measuring the impact of attitude congruence (in favour of the article vs against) and defense motivation (yes vs no) on exposure time, personal-relevance, perceived article quality and retention of the articles. The data showed that more time was spent reading congruent Facebook articles. In addition, congruent Facebook articles were considered more relevant and of better quality. Defense motivation amplified the impact of attitude congruence on perceived article quality. Nevertheless, there was no relationship between attitude congruence and the retention of the article message. These findings provide a better understanding of why people consume one-sided political news. Additionally, highlight the relevance of future research of bias in one-sided news consumption, as it hinders individuals from making accurate judgments about the articles they encounter.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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