K. de Swert
- The effect of popular exemplars and expert account base-rate information on perceived public opinion
- Conference papers: International Communication Association: annual meeting
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
How people perceive public opinion is important because it affects their willingness to express themselves. This paper investigates whether two different portrayals of public opinion in the TV news affect people’s perception of public opinion. We use an experimental design in which roughly one thousand subjects were exposed to a fictional television news item. The news items contained either popular exemplars or base-rate information offered by experts each presenting different public opinion distributions. We find that exemplification, which is frequently employed in the news, has an effect on the news broadcast viewers’ perception of dominant public opinion. However, in contrast to previous work, we find that base-rate information has a larger effect on perceived public opinion when offered by a speaking source (expert) making it vivid. The factors underlying this differential effect are the success at being an attention commander and a credible source (trustworthiness and expertise). Speaking experts are evaluated as equally trustworthy and effective attention commanders as popular exemplars but have far greater expertise.
- Proceedings title: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton Phoenix
Downtown, Phoenix, AZ, May 24, 2012
Publisher: International Communication Association
Place of publication: Washington, DC
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.