Perceptions of foreign media influence in Asia and Europe: The third-person effect and media imperialism

Lars Willnat, Zhou He, Toshio Takeshita, Esteban López-Escobar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study investigates how young Asians and Europeans perceive the strength of US media effects on their culture. Based on Davison's (1983) third-person effect hypothesis, this study proposes that most respondents will attribute greater effects of the US media upon others than upon themselves. Data for this study were collected by asking 1,968 Asian and European students about their US media consumption, and about their perceptions of how exposure to the US media might influence themselves and others. Findings show that most Asian respondents believe that their cultural values are positively influenced by exposure to the US media, while most European respondents think that their cultural values are negatively influenced. Effects of mediated US violence, on the other hand, were perceived to be negative on self and others among all respondents. Findings also indicate that European respondents tend to believe that the US media influence the cultural values of others more than their own, while Asian respondents generally think that the US media affect their own cultural values more than those of others. As predicted, all respondents perceive the effects of mediated US violence to be stronger on others than on themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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