Social media mixed with news in political candidate judgment

Order effects on knowledge and affect

Scott P. Robertson, Bryan Semaan, Sara Douglas, Misa Maruyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the context of politics, emotions and facts work together to shape opinions about political candidates. While there is considerable research on motivated reasoning about political issues, there is less attention to how affect and rationality combine in the hybrid world of new media. This study examined the interaction of social media comments about politicians with more traditional information sources. Participants were exposed to political candidates' Facebook news feeds, to news articles about the candidates, and to a political speech. The order of exposure was varied and measures of both knowledge and emotion were taken. When social media was encountered before news about a political candidate, it influenced feelings toward the candidate but did not influence personal mood or perceived knowledge. In contrast, when social media was encountered before information unrelated to the candidates, it negatively influenced all dependent measures. The findings are discussed in terms of motivated reasoning theories, Papacharissi's concept of "affective publics," and the implications for civic participation in the new media era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-365
Number of pages19
JournalInformation Polity
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Fingerprint

social media
news
candidacy
new media
emotion
political speech
political opinion
facebook
mood
rationality
politician
participation
politics
interaction

Keywords

  • affective publics
  • e-Democracy
  • e-Participation
  • media hybridity
  • motivated reasoning
  • online public sphere
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

Cite this

Social media mixed with news in political candidate judgment : Order effects on knowledge and affect. / Robertson, Scott P.; Semaan, Bryan; Douglas, Sara; Maruyama, Misa.

In: Information Polity, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2016, p. 347-365.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Robertson, Scott P. ; Semaan, Bryan ; Douglas, Sara ; Maruyama, Misa. / Social media mixed with news in political candidate judgment : Order effects on knowledge and affect. In: Information Polity. 2016 ; Vol. 21, No. 4. pp. 347-365.
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