Effects of partisan bias on perceptions of evasion in a political news interview

Clementson, D. E., & Xie, T. (Grady PhD student) (2020, Nov.). Effects of partisan bias on perceptions of evasion in a political news interview. Paper to be presented at the 106th National Communication Association conference, Political Communication division, Indianapolis, IN.

Abstract: This paper applies truth-default theory (TDT) to political deception. TDT suggests that people detect deception through suspicion being triggered by a political reporter, which causes a politician to lose credibility. TDT also holds that in-groups have a particularly strong truth-default toward their own members. We report an experiment in which U.S. voters (n = 125 Democrats, and 125 Republicans) watched a real news interview featuring an allegation of evasion. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: a Fox News journalist accusing (or not accusing) a liberal of deception, or a CNN journalist accusing (or not accusing) a conservative of deception. Consistent with TDT, voters’ distrust arose through elevated suspicion, followed by perceiving deceptive messaging. In-group/out-group bias also drove perceptions of deception. However, moderated multiple mediator modeling indicated voters react non-differentially whether or not their in-group media outlet accused an ideologue of evasion.

Framing of GMOs in American media and its effects on attitudes, behaviors, and news perceptions.

Abstract: This study used a multi-method approach to examine the framing of GMOs in two American newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post (2000-2016), and to test the impact of risk and opportunity framing on attitudes, behaviors regarding GMOs, and perceptions of news credibility. The results of the content analysis (N = 165) showed that two newspapers did not have a dominant frame type in their coverage, but that their articles contained both risk and opportunity statements. The results of a randomized three-condition experiment (N = 182) showed that the type of framing not only significantly impacted individuals’ attitudes, but was also able to change them. In addition, the type of framing impacted individuals’ behavioral intentions and news credibility perceptions, but was not able to significantly impact actual behavior. The results are discussed in light of framing theories.