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Selective online exposure and political polarization during Swedish election campaigns

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Selective online exposure and political polarization during Swedish election campaigns

  1. 1. Selective online exposure and political polarization during Swedish election campaigns a longitudinal analysis using four waves of panel data Peter M. Dahlgren Adam Shehata Jesper Strömbäck @peterdalle peterdahlgren.com peter.dahlgren@jmg.gu.se
  2. 2. Selective online exposure Background • Internet is a high-choice media environment • Personal motivations increasingly important in news selection • Prefer attitude-consistent news, but don’t avoid attitude-inconsistent • Political ideologies more salient during elections Purpose Examine how political ideology and selective exposure mutually reinforce over time, and whether they become more extreme
  3. 3. Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Reinforcing spirals model Slater (2007, p. 284) Time 1 Time 2 Time 3
  4. 4. Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Reinforcing spirals model Slater (2007, p. 284) Time 1 Time 2 Time 3
  5. 5. Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Media Use Belief/attitude/ behavior Reinforcing spirals model Slater (2007, p. 284) Time 1 Time 2 Time 3
  6. 6. Hypotheses More selective exposure  more ideologically extreme Less selective exposure  less ideologically extreme Research questions Selective exposure over time? Role of political interest? RQ1 RQ2 H1 H2
  7. 7. Method • Panel survey during five months in the 2014 EU and Swedish national election: ”super election year” • Random sample • 2,281 (33%) completed all waves Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 May 22–25 September 14May 26–June 4April 11–22 August 1–13 September 15–24
  8. 8. Sample (n=2,281) Sex: Education: Age: 19–76 years (M=46, SD=17)
  9. 9. Left-leaning Moderates Right-leaning Results: political ideology
  10. 10. Left-leaning Moderates Right-leaning Results: political ideology
  11. 11. Left-leaning Moderates Right-leaning Results: political ideology
  12. 12. Results: political ideology
  13. 13. Attitude-inconsistent news exposure Attitude-consistent news exposure Results: selective exposure
  14. 14. Attitude-inconsistent news exposure Attitude-consistent news exposure Results: selective exposure
  15. 15. Attitude-inconsistent news exposure Attitude-consistent news exposure Results: selective exposure
  16. 16. Cross-lagged panel model Political Ideologyw1 Political Ideologyw2 Selective Exposurew2 Political Ideologyw3 Political Ideologyw4 Selective Exposurew4 Political interest Income .7 .31 1*** .91*** 1*** .96*** .03* .23*** .09*** –.05*** .08*** –.07*** .03** Selective Exposurew1 Selective Exposurew3 Sex .05** .04** Education Standardized path coefficients. χ2(6, N=3,557) = 3.67 p = .721 RMSEA < .001 CFI = 1.0 R2 = .107 *p<.05 **p<.01 ***p<.001 Results: mutual reinforcement
  17. 17. Cross-lagged panel model Political Ideologyw1 Political Ideologyw2 Selective Exposurew2 Political Ideologyw3 Political Ideologyw4 Selective Exposurew4 Political interest Income .7 .31 1*** .91*** 1*** .96*** .03* .23*** .09*** –.05*** .08*** –.07*** .03** Selective Exposurew1 Selective Exposurew3 Sex .05** .04** Education Standardized path coefficients. χ2(6, N=3,557) = 3.67 p = .721 RMSEA < .001 CFI = 1.0 R2 = .107 *p<.05 **p<.01 ***p<.001 Results: mutual reinforcement
  18. 18. Cross-lagged panel model Political Ideologyw1 Political Ideologyw2 Selective Exposurew2 Political Ideologyw3 Political Ideologyw4 Selective Exposurew4 Political interest Income .7 .31 1*** .91*** 1*** .96*** χ2(6, N=3,557) = 3.67 p = .721 RMSEA < .001 CFI = 1.0 R2 = .107 *p<.05 **p<.01 ***p<.001 .03* .23*** .09*** –.05*** .08*** –.07*** .03** Selective Exposurew1 Selective Exposurew3 Sex .05** .04** Education Standardized path coefficients. Results: mutual reinforcement
  19. 19. Cross-lagged panel model Political Ideologyw1 Political Ideologyw2 Selective Exposurew2 Political Ideologyw3 Political Ideologyw4 Selective Exposurew4 Political interest Income .7 .31 1*** .91*** 1*** .96*** .03* .23*** .09*** –.05*** .08*** –.07*** .03** Selective Exposurew1 Selective Exposurew3 Sex .05** .04** Education Standardized path coefficients. χ2(6, N=3,557) = 3.67 p = .721 RMSEA < .001 CFI = 1.0 R2 = .107 *p<.05 **p<.01 ***p<.001 Results: mutual reinforcement
  20. 20. Cross-lagged panel model Political Ideologyw1 Political Ideologyw2 Selective Exposurew2 Political Ideologyw3 Political Ideologyw4 Selective Exposurew4 Political interest Income .7 .31 1*** .91*** 1*** .96*** .03* .23*** .09*** –.05*** .08*** –.07*** .03** Selective Exposurew1 Selective Exposurew3 Sex .05** .04** Education Standardized path coefficients. χ2(6, N=3,557) = 3.67 p = .721 RMSEA < .001 CFI = 1.0 R2 = .107 *p<.05 **p<.01 ***p<.001 Results: mutual reinforcement
  21. 21. Conclusions No support for political ideology and selective exposure mutually reinforcing and becoming more extreme over time. Individuals exposed to attitude-inconsistent news get slightly less extreme (but mostly moving toward right). High political interest: more extreme political ideology, and more exposure to attitude-inconsistent news. RQ1 RQ2 H1 H2
  22. 22. Peter M. Dahlgren selective exposure and media effects @peterdalle peterdahlgren.com peter.dahlgren@jmg.gu.se

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