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Social media mixed with news in political candidate judgment: Order effects on knowledge and affect

Social media mixed with news in political candidate judgment: Order effects on knowledge and affect In the context of politics, emotions and facts work together to shapeopinions about political candidates. While there is considerable research onmotivated reasoning about political issues, there is less attention to howaffect and rationality combine in the hybrid world of new media. This studyexamined the interaction of social media comments about politicians withmore traditional information sources. Participants were exposed to politicalcandidates' Facebook news feeds, to news articles about the candidates, andto a political speech. The order of exposure was varied and measures of bothknowledge and emotion were taken. When social media was encountered beforenews about a political candidate, it influenced feelings toward thecandidate but did not influence personal mood or perceived knowledge. Incontrast, when social media was encountered before information unrelated tothe candidates, it negatively influenced all dependent measures. Thefindings are discussed in terms of motivated reasoning theories,Papacharissi's concept of ``affective publics,'' and the implications forcivic participation in the new media era. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

Social media mixed with news in political candidate judgment: Order effects on knowledge and affect

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-160388
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the context of politics, emotions and facts work together to shapeopinions about political candidates. While there is considerable research onmotivated reasoning about political issues, there is less attention to howaffect and rationality combine in the hybrid world of new media. This studyexamined the interaction of social media comments about politicians withmore traditional information sources. Participants were exposed to politicalcandidates' Facebook news feeds, to news articles about the candidates, andto a political speech. The order of exposure was varied and measures of bothknowledge and emotion were taken. When social media was encountered beforenews about a political candidate, it influenced feelings toward thecandidate but did not influence personal mood or perceived knowledge. Incontrast, when social media was encountered before information unrelated tothe candidates, it negatively influenced all dependent measures. Thefindings are discussed in terms of motivated reasoning theories,Papacharissi's concept of ``affective publics,'' and the implications forcivic participation in the new media era.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Jan 1, 2016

References