« Back to all events

News Credibility Depends on Ideological Alignment with the Content, not the Source

Dates:
  • Fri 04 Dec 2020 17.00 - 18.30
  Add to Calendar 2020-12-04 17:00 2020-12-04 18:30 Europe/Paris News Credibility Depends on Ideological Alignment with the Content, not the Source

A presentation within the Colloquium on Analytical Sociology

Increasingly polarized media consumption calls into question the viability of an independent fourth estate. Previous research reveals that people prefer information sources that support their political ideology, creating a feedback loop that sustains and amplifies partisan disagreement about fact as well as opinion. However, the correlation between the ideological leaning of sources and content of news stories obscures the underlying causal processes: Do people believe news because the content of the news is aligned with their ideology or because the source is ideologically aligned and therefore trusted? To find out, we experimentally isolated the effects of content and source alignment on the credibility of political news. In our experiments, liberal and conservative participants evaluated left-leaning and right-leaning headlines that we randomly attributed to a left-leaning or right-leaning publisher. We find that the credibility of polarizing news depends on the alignment of the participant’s ideology with the content, not the source. In addition, the results show that participants are less likely to reject politically misaligned content when offered incentives for factually accurate news evaluations. Our findings corroborate an explanation of polarization as a consequence of identity-protective cognition and suggest that a politically fragmented media landscape may be a symptom more than a cause of political polarization.

via zoom - DD/MM/YYYY
  via zoom -

A presentation within the Colloquium on Analytical Sociology

Increasingly polarized media consumption calls into question the viability of an independent fourth estate. Previous research reveals that people prefer information sources that support their political ideology, creating a feedback loop that sustains and amplifies partisan disagreement about fact as well as opinion. However, the correlation between the ideological leaning of sources and content of news stories obscures the underlying causal processes: Do people believe news because the content of the news is aligned with their ideology or because the source is ideologically aligned and therefore trusted? To find out, we experimentally isolated the effects of content and source alignment on the credibility of political news. In our experiments, liberal and conservative participants evaluated left-leaning and right-leaning headlines that we randomly attributed to a left-leaning or right-leaning publisher. We find that the credibility of polarizing news depends on the alignment of the participant’s ideology with the content, not the source. In addition, the results show that participants are less likely to reject politically misaligned content when offered incentives for factually accurate news evaluations. Our findings corroborate an explanation of polarization as a consequence of identity-protective cognition and suggest that a politically fragmented media landscape may be a symptom more than a cause of political polarization.


Location:
via zoom -

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Monika Rzemieniecka (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences) - Send a mail

Organiser:
Prof. Arnout van de Rijt (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)

Speaker:
Prof. Michael Macy (Cornell University)

Similar events

 

Page last updated on 18 August 2017