Social media, participation, and attitudes: Does social media drive polarization?
(R)evolutionizing Political Communication through Social Media
A wide body of evidence shows that the American electorate has become more politically polarized in recent years. There are a wide variety of explanations for this trend, including selective exposure to ideological news sources. This trend corresponds with the increased use of social media for political discussion. There are competing theories regarding whether the spread social media exacerbates or attenuates polarization in the evaluation of political and social groups. The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate these competing claims. This topic is explored using multivariate regression analysis and individual level data from the 2012 American National Election Time Series Study. The findings suggest that social media use actually attenuates rather than drives polarization.
Department of Political Science
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Holmes, Justin W. and McNeal, Ramona Sue, "Social media, participation, and attitudes: Does social media drive polarization?" (2016). Faculty Publications. 1120.