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People Choose News That Fits Their Views

Posted in News by Skepdude on June 7, 2009

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT “LIVE SCIENCE”

News readers gorge on media messages that fit their pre-existing views, rather than graze on a wider range of perspectives. In other words, they consume what they agree with, researchers say.

The finding comes out of a recent study which tracked how college students spent their time reading media articles on hot-button issues such as abortion or gun ownership.

Unsurprisingly, students gravitated toward articles that supported their views.

“The idea has been around for a very long time, but it has just never been proven,” said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, a communications researcher at Ohio State University. “It’s just considered textbook knowledge or lay common sense.”

That preference for similar views may also influence hardcore political junkies who prefer to read blogs with strong political views, according to separate research.

However, researchers still don’t know how individual uncertainty about political views affects time spent reading one side or the other. And on the flipside, individuals most confident in their political stance may actually seek out opposing views to read.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT “LIVE SCIENCE”