“Media audience homophily: Partisan websites, audience identity and polarization processes
New media and sociaty, 2016
The study suggests that media consumers favor certain websites not only due to their content but also due to their audience. A new concept is introduced: " audience homophily, " which describes one's preference for partisan media websites catering to a homogeneous, likeminded consumership. This attraction is explained in terms of the need for self-consistency, and I suggest that over time such behavior will polarize political identity through a spiral of reinforcement. Based on both a survey-experiment (N = 300) and a panel study combined with web-tracking technology that recorded ...
“I Don't Like You Any More”: Facebook Unfriending by Israelis During the Israel–Gaza Conflict of 2014
Journal of Communication, 2015
This article explores Facebook unfriending during the Israel–Gaza conflict of 2014. We suggest that politically motivated unfriending is a new kind of political gesture. We present an analysis of a survey of 1,013 Jewish Israeli Facebook users. A total of 16% of users unfriended or unfollowed a Facebook friend during the fighting. Unfriending was more prevalent among more ideologically extreme and more politically active Facebook users. Weak ties were most likely to be broken, and respondents mostly unfriended people because they took offense at what they had posted or disagreed with it.
Why Do Partisan Audience Participate? Perceived Public Opinion as the Mediating Mechanism
Communication Research, 2015
The bulk of current literature on partisan media explores its various detrimental influences on the democratic sphere. This study highlights a possible positive outcome of partisan media consumption: enhanced political participation. It is hypothesized that consumption of congruent partisan media will tilt perceptions of opinion climate so that it is viewed as more supportive of one’s views, while consumption of incongruent partisan media is viewed as less supportive. Consequently, consumers of congruent partisan media will participate more, and vice versa...
The Longitudinal Effects of Chronic Mediated Exposure to Political Violence on Ideological Beliefs About Political Conflicts Among Youths
Political Communication 2015
This study examines the effects of chronic (i.e., repeated and cumulative) mediated exposure to political violence on ideological beliefs regarding political conflict. It centers on these effects on young viewers, from preadolescents to adolescents. Ideological beliefs refers here to support of war, perception of threat to one’s nation, and normative beliefs concerning aggression toward the out-group. A longitudinal study was conducted on a sample of Israeli and Palestinian youths who experience the Israeli-Palestinian conflict firsthand (N = 1,207)....
The Effects of Political Orientation, Majority Status, and Majority Size on Misperceptions of Public Opinion
Public Opinion Querterly 2015
According to cognitive research, members of a social majority are better than minority members at estimating the consensus, since the latter tend to overestimate the popularity of their opinion. These differences have been explained using the motivational reasoning model. The purpose of the current study is twofold: to verify that majority members indeed provide more accurate public consensus estimations and to test the effect of political orientation on this relation...
One-Track Minds? Cognitive Needs, Media Diet, and Overestimation of Public Support for One’s Views
Media Psychology, 2014
This study suggests that diversity of media diet mediates the relation between cognitive needs and accurate perception of public opinion. It was hypothesized that people with high need for cognition will expose themselves to various media outlets that support and that oppose their views; as a result, they will develop a more accurate perception of public opinion. In contrast, people with high need to evaluate will show preferences to like-minded media outlets and, consequently, will perceive their opinion to be more popular than it actually is. ...
The extent and nature of ideological selective exposure online: Combining survey responses with actual web log data from the 2013 Israeli Elections
New media and Society, 2014
Do users tend to consume only like-minded political information online? We point to two problems with the existing knowledge about this debate. First, the measurement of media preferences by the typical means of surveys is less reliable than behavioral data. Second, most studies have analyzed only the extentecond, most studies have analyzed only the extent of online exposure to like-minded content, not the users’ complete web-browsing repertoire. This study used both survey data and real-life browsing behavior (661,483 URLs from 15,976 websites visited by 402 participants) for the period 7 weeks prior to the 2013 Israeli national elections.
Testing our Quasi-Statistical Sense: Testing our Quasi-Statistical Sense: News use, Political Knowledge and False Projection
Political Psychology, 2014
Although widely studied, previous research of projection in the context of public opinion did not incorporate the distinction between adequate and false projection developed in the cognitive studies: Adequate projection contributes to accurate perceptions of public opinion while false projection impairs it. The analysis presented in this study includes the above distinction, building on two case studies: (1) a dataset comprised of 25 surveys conducted over a period of 10 years (N = 11,313) and (2) a panel study of the 2013 Israeli general election....
Implications of Pro- and Counter-Attitudinal Information Exposure for Affective Polarization
Human communication Research, 2014
The American electorate is characterized by political polarization, and especially by increasingly negative affective responses toward opposing party members. To what extent might this be attributed to exposure to information reinforcing individuals' partisan identity versus information representing the views of partisan opponents? And is this a uniquely American phenomenon? This study uses survey data collected immediately following recent national elections in two countries, the United States and Israel, to address these questions...
The Effects of Mediated Exposure to Ethnic-Political Violence on Middle East Youth's Subsequent Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Aggressive
Communication Research, 2013
This study introduces the concept of chronic (i.e., repeated and cumulative) mediated exposure to political violence and investigates its effects on aggressive behavior and post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms in young viewers. Embracing the risk-matrix approach, these effects are studied alongside other childhood risk factors that influence maladjustment. A longitudinal study was conducted on a sample of youth who experience the Israeli-Palestinian conflict firsthand (N = 1,207).....