News and Views

MIT study finds partisan news coverage has a bigger impact on viewers without strong media preferences.

Peter Dizikes MIT News

Certain kinds of political media affect a cross-section of viewers in different ways, and to varying degrees, new research shows.

Image: MIT News

It’s a classic question in contemporary politics: Does partisan news media coverage shape people’s ideologies? Or do people decide to consume political media that is already aligned with their beliefs?

由澳门太阳城最新网站的政治科学家铲球这个问题正面和领导的一项新的研究到达一个细致入微的结论:虽然党派背景的媒体确实有对政治态度“很强的说服力的影响”,因为研究人员写在新发表的论文,新闻媒体曝光对人没有强烈的偏好持有比它对于谁寻求党派媒体人党派背景的媒体有更大的影响。

In short, certain kinds of political media affect a cross-section of viewers in varying manners, and to varying degrees — so while the influence of partisan news is real, it also has its limits.

“Different populations are going to respond to partisan media in different ways,” says Adam Berinsky, the Mitsui Professor of Political Science and director of the Political Experiments Research Lab (PERL) at MIT, and a co-author of the study.

“Political persuasion is hard,” Berinsky adds. “If it were easy, the world would already look a lot different.”

The paper, “Persuading the Enemy: Estimating the Persuasive Effects of Partisan Media with the Preference-Incorporating Choice and Assignment Design,” is now available in advance online form from the American Political Science Review.

除了berinsky,作者是贾斯汀去贝内迪克特斯-kessner博士'17,在波士顿大学政治学助理教授;马修一个。鲍姆,在哈佛大学肯尼迪学院教授;与山本彻平,在政治学的澳门太阳城最新网站的部门的副教授。

Breaking down the problem

大量政治学文献中讨论的媒体影响力的问题;有学者主张,党派背景的媒体显著塑造舆论,但其他人认为,“选择性曝光”中,人们看什么,他们已经同意,是主要的。 

“It’s a really tricky problem,” Berinsky says. “How do you disentangle these things?”

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允许研究人员通过更具体的在媒体上的人用不同的意识形态,不同层次的意愿来查看媒体的影响寻找梳理出周围的媒体消费的原因和效果的问题。研究人员把这种方法的偏好选择集成和分配设计,或异食癖。

例如,研究中的一个实验给参与者无论从保守的福克斯新闻频道阅读网帖的选项; MSNBC,其中有几个节目在一个显著更自由的左方向倾斜;或食品网络。其他参与者被派去监视三者之一。

通过检查以观众的反应的内容,学者们发现,谁当选读取党派新闻频道材料的人较少受到含量的影响。相比之下,谁吸引到食物网络,但被派去监视有线新闻的参与者,更是由内容的影响。

有多大影响?定量,研究人员发现,单次暴露于党派背景的媒体可以通过量等于在右侧游击队和政治派别的左右两侧之间存在的平均思想差距三分之一改变相对非政治的公民的意见。

Thus, the influence of cable news depends on who it is reaching. “People do respond differently based on their preferences,” Berinsky says.

同时党派有线电视新闻上谁选择看它是更小的人的影响,它确实存在,研究人员发现。例如,在另一个研究的实验中,研究人员测试有线新闻澳门太阳城大麻的法律信仰对观众的影响。即使在常规电缆新闻的观众,党派内容影响了人们的看法。

Overall, Yamamoto states, the PICA method is novel because it “allows us to make inferences about what is never [otherwise] directly observable,” that is, the impact of partisan media on people who would normally choose not to consume it.  

“Most people just don’t want news”

把在美国每日新闻收视率的背景下结论,认为最近的国会听证会中特别顾问罗伯特·米勒作证澳门太阳城他的总统调查。福克斯新闻领导与中最多的一天平均3万名观众的有线电视收视率,而MSNBC有240万名观众的平均水平。总体而言,1300万人观看。但超级碗,例如,经常在大约100万观众拉。

“Most people just don’t want to be exposed to political news,” Berinsky notes. “These are not bad people or bad citizens. In theory, a democracy is working well when you can ignore politics.”

较大缺乏对政治的兴趣一个含义,因此,是任何一个观众获得该党派的媒体经验,可以产生相对较大的影响 - 因为这种增长将适用于以前的不规则消费者的消息,谁可能更容易受影响。再次,虽然,这样的观众涨幅可能有限,因为大多数美国人不愿意消费党派背景的媒体。

“We only learned those people are persuadable because we made them watch the news,” Berinsky says.

其他学者在现场说,纸是一种宝贵的除了在媒体影响力的文学作品。凯文arceneaux中,托马斯· freaney,JR。政治学和在寺庙大学行为基础实验室主任教授说,这项研究“代表的媒介效果研究的重要方法飞跃。”

Arceneaux says the researchers “convincingly demonstrate that partisan news media have the largest effects among individuals who tend to avoid consuming news,” and suggests some possible implications pertaining to the larger media landscape.

对于那些遵循政治谁的人,他认为,有可能获得“钝党派新闻媒体的说服力与偏极化效果”许多新闻的选择;与此同时,社交媒体可能是“两极分化的一个重要来源”通过引入一些人的消息。 arceneaux还指出,对“counterattitudinal”党派新闻的影响进一步研究 - 的内容,认为侵害了消费者的信念 - 将棚上的媒体影响力的动力更多的光。

The study was supported by a National Science Foundation grant and the Political Experiments Research Lab at MIT; Berinsky’s contribution was partly supported by a Joan Shorenstein Fellowship.

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