«Is the Confirmation Bias Bubble Larger Online? Pre-Election Confirmation Bias in Selective Exposure to Online versus Print Political Information»

The Internet era has often been blamed for a predominant engagement with attitude-consistent information among citizens (labeled confirmation bias), which is thought to hurt political deliberation. This study offers the first rigorous evidence suggesting that online news fosters greater confirmation bias than traditional media. A 2 × 2 within-subjects experiment presented political articles, varying stance (conservative vs. liberal) and medium (online vs. print); selective exposure was logged or taped. Data were collected during the U.S. 2016 presidential primaries. As expected in the preelection context, partisans whose party was anticipated to lose the election (conservatives) did not exhibit confirmation bias. Liberals showed confirmation bias, but only online, suggesting print contexts reduce confirmation bias.
Authors: George David Hooke Pearson & Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, in Mass Communication and Society, May 2019. See here.