Context Impacts on the Confirmation Bias: Evidence from the 2017 Japanese Snap Election Compared with American and German Findings
By Knobloch-Westerwick, S., Liu, L., Hino, A., Westerwick, A., & Johnson, B. K.
ABSTRACT: Much concern exists about individuals’ tendency to favor attitude-consistent messages (confirmation bias) and the consequences for democracy; yet empirical evidence is predominantly based on U.S. data and may not apply to other cultural contexts. The current three-session online experimental study unobtrusively observed Japanese participants’ (N = 200) selective exposure to political news articles right before the 2017 Japanese snap general election. The research design paralleled an earlier U.S. study and a German study, which allowed direct comparisons of confirmation biases among the three countries. Japanese exhibited a confirmation bias, but it was smaller than the confirmation bias among Americans, though comparable to that of Germans. The extent of the confirmation bias among Japanese participants was influenced by individual media trust, which provides new insight into causes of these cross-country differences. Attitudinal impacts resulted from selective exposure, in line with message stance, and persisted for two days.
Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, professor at the School of Communication, will give an invited keynote at the kick-off meeting for the research initiative “Knowledge Resistance: Causes, Consequences and Cures” on March 28, 2019. An interdisciplinary, international group of researchers headed by philosophers at Stockholm University, Sweden, has won a SEK 50,400,000 (approximately $5.6 million) grant from Rikgsbankens Jubileumsfond (the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences). The leader of the project is Åsa Wikforss, professor in theoretical philosophy at Stockholm University. Knowledge resistance, according to the project description is “the tendency not to accept available knowledge.” Further information: https://www.rj.se/en/anslag/2018/knowledge-resistance-causes-consequences-and-cures/
SEMI-ME research lab news:
TJ Neer, Amal Saeed, and Birkan Gokbag present their research titled “Agenda-Setting Theory Applied in a Selective Exposure Environment on Controversial Topics” at the Spring 2019 Undergraduate Research Festival at The Ohio State University in late March. They worked with George Pearson (PhD candidate) and Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick.
Dana Brooks, Jane Hulse, and Evan McWilliams present their research titled “Shaping ‘Echo Chamber’ Effects Through Distraction: A Selective Exposure Experiment.” They worked with Daniel Sude (PhD student) and Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick.