How Does Media Choice Affect Hostile Media Perceptions? Evidence from Participant Preference Experiments

Arceneaux, Kevin; Johnson, Martin
Journal of Experimental Political Science

We investigate how selective exposure to various types of media shapes hostile media perceptions. We use an innovative experimental design that gauges the influence of viewers’ preferences for entertainment, partisan cable news, or mainstream broadcast news on their reactions to media content. This design represents a modification to the participant preference experiment used elsewhere, expanding a laboratory-based media environment to include partisan and mainstream news options, alongside entertainment programming. We find that people’s viewing preferences shape their reactions to news media content.