Technology and Communication Media

  • Bail et al. (2018). Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization. PNAS, 115, 9216-9221. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1804840115.
  • Byline summary: Contrary to popular beliefs that exposure to different views can foster mutual understanding between groups with different opinions, this research suggests that such exposure may indeed widen an opinion gap. Self-identified Republican and Democrat Twitter users who were exposed to opposing political views through Twitter for one month became more attached to their original political ideology than those who were not seen opposing views. It cautions how we deliver messages when it comes to reducing opinion gaps.
  • To read an one-page summary of this paper, please click the link: The summary of Bail and colleagues (2018).
  • Updated May 1st, 2020
  • Bakshy, E., Messing, S., & Adamic, L. A. (2015). Exposure to ideologically diverse news and opinion on FacebookScience348, 1130-1132. https://https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa1160.
  • Byline summary: People gravitate toward information that supports their prior attitudes, which leads to opinion polarization. As differences among attitudes become amplified, it is unclear whether the cause is individuals seeking information similar to their beliefs or instead only having information available that supports more extreme positions. Analyses using large Facebook data among politically conservatives and liberals revealed that, although a news feed algorithm initially exposed individuals to range of information, human choice played a central role in strengthening one’s prior attitudes.
  • Updated May 1st, 2020
  • Flanagin, A. J., Hocevar, K. P., & Samahito, S. N. (2014). Connecting with the user-generated Web: how group identification impacts online information sharing and evaluation. Information, Communication & Society17, 683-694. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2013.808361.
  • Byline summary: Individuals tend to evaluate information from similar others more favorably than from dissimilar others. When evaluating course ratings and comments from a fictitious website, college students were more likely to endorse the information when they believed it was from fellow students who have much in common with them, as opposed to fellow students who differ from them, even though the information was the same from both sets of fellow students.
  • Updated July 1st, 2020
  • Epstein, R., & Robertson, R. E. (2015). The search engine manipulation effect (SEME) and its possible impact on the outcomes of electionsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences112, E4512-E4521. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1419828112.
  • Byline summary: How aware are we of factors that influence our decisions. such as who we vote for? When people in this research voted, their preferences were affected by the order in which information was presented, and they were unaware that the order of information affected them. This article highlights the importance of being aware that some overlooked factors (such as order of presented information) can subtly manipulate human choice and behavior.
  • Updated July 1st, 2020

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