Through the Grapevine: Informational Consequences of Interpersonal Political Communication

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Authors Taylor N. Carlson
Journal/Conference Name AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Much of the US public acquires political information socially. However, the consequences of acquiring information from others instead of the media are under-explored. I conduct a “telephone-game” experiment to examine how information changes as it flows from official reports to news outlets to other people, finding that social information is empirically different from news articles. In a second experiment on a nationally representative sample, I randomly assign participants to read a news article or a socialmessage about that article generated inStudy1.Participants exposed to social information learned significantly less than participants who were exposed to the news article. However, individuals exposed to information from someone who is like-minded and knowledgeable learned the same objective facts as those who received information from the media. Although participants learned the same factual information from these ideal informants as they did from the media, they had different subjective evaluations.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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