University of Twente Student Theses


Enhancing Awareness of Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers: The Role of Information Consumption Patterns and Political Orientation

Pasca, Stefana (2023) Enhancing Awareness of Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers: The Role of Information Consumption Patterns and Political Orientation.

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Abstract:Tailored content delivery shaped the way individuals consume news and information. Personalized algorithms used by search engines and social media platforms filter out information based on users’ recent searches and profiling. On one hand, this made it easier for users to seek information while avoiding cognitive overload. On the other hand, this encourages individuals to expose themselves predominantly to information that aligns with their pre-existing beliefs. This has an impact on an individual level and on a societal level, as it leads to digital polarization and the creation of filter bubbles and echo chambers. While it is known that awareness is an important factor in reducing polarization, filter bubbles, and echo chambers, there is not much information in the existing literature regarding what factors influence awareness. Thus, the goal of this study is to fill in this gap in research by exploring the influence of information consumption patterns, political orientation, and culture on awareness. A cross-sectional survey was created and distributed, which led to 178 responses that were analyzed in this research. The data collected was analyzed by performing regression models and ANOVA tests. The findings of this study show that information consumption patterns have an effect on general awareness. Political orientation only had an effect on the awareness of digital polarization, and cultural aspects did not influence either. This has academic implications as it helps to fill in the research gap regarding the factors that influence awareness. Moreover, it had practical implications, as the findings can help policymakers develop strategies to increase the general level of awareness of individuals. This study also had limitations which include self-reported biases, and a potential bias of the sampling distribution, as a personal network was used. To improve further research, it is recommended that also other factors that could have an influence be explored, and different approaches could be used, such as qualitative studies to get a deeper understanding of the concepts.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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