2019 Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Title

Does Political Orientation cause us to see Things Differently?

Award Winner

Recipient of the 12th Annual Graduate Student Symposium Scholarship Award, Poster Presentations - Third Place (2019)

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Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Keywords

Mass media--Political aspects; Party affiliation--Psychological aspects;

Abstract

Individuals’ perspectives and stances on an issue will often cause them to perceive information in a way that agrees with their beliefs. Biased assimilation refers to individuals’ tendencies to perceive information consistent with their beliefs as more positive than information inconsistent with their beliefs. It is related to the hostile media effect, which refers to individuals’ tendencies to view balanced news coverage as biased against their stance. Both Liberals and Conservatives tend to show these biases by perceiving some news coverage as biased. In this study, 250 participants will read a news article about a recent bill that was passed. The article will be modified to make it look like it is from NBC News or Fox News. Participants will then complete a questionnaire with questions about their perceptions of the article, their political affiliation, and the typical news sources they follow. We expect participants who identify as a Liberal political affiliation will perceive the article with the Fox News source heading to be hostile towards their political stance, and that the same effect will occur with Conservatives viewing the article with the NBC News heading. This will demonstrate the presence of the hostile media effect, and the next step will be assessing thoughts and beliefs that caused the individuals to exhibit a hostile media bias.

Start Date

3-4-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

3-4-2019 1:00 AM

Year of Award

2019 Award

Faculty Advisor

Helen Harton

Department

Department of Psychology

File Format

application/pdf

Embargo Date

4-23-2020

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

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Apr 3rd, 11:00 AM Apr 3rd, 1:00 AM

Does Political Orientation cause us to see Things Differently?

Individuals’ perspectives and stances on an issue will often cause them to perceive information in a way that agrees with their beliefs. Biased assimilation refers to individuals’ tendencies to perceive information consistent with their beliefs as more positive than information inconsistent with their beliefs. It is related to the hostile media effect, which refers to individuals’ tendencies to view balanced news coverage as biased against their stance. Both Liberals and Conservatives tend to show these biases by perceiving some news coverage as biased. In this study, 250 participants will read a news article about a recent bill that was passed. The article will be modified to make it look like it is from NBC News or Fox News. Participants will then complete a questionnaire with questions about their perceptions of the article, their political affiliation, and the typical news sources they follow. We expect participants who identify as a Liberal political affiliation will perceive the article with the Fox News source heading to be hostile towards their political stance, and that the same effect will occur with Conservatives viewing the article with the NBC News heading. This will demonstrate the presence of the hostile media effect, and the next step will be assessing thoughts and beliefs that caused the individuals to exhibit a hostile media bias.