Saturday, August 26, 2006

Politicians over-estimate media effects

Nordicom Review 1-2/2004 - Publication: "Mass Media, Interpersonal Communication or Personal Experience? Perceptions of Media Effects among Swedish Politicians" - is an interesting article demonstrating that politicians are far more likely than the general population to be believe that the mass media is extremely influential slash decisive in forming people's political views - something I've long suspected. Possible reasons adduced:
  • because politicians reacted strongly to a particular program, they assume others will too (law of small numbers);
  • because politicians saw a particular program, they assume others did too (increasingly unlikely given different media consumption patterns)
  • simple exaggeration of the media effect

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