Media Exposure and Third-Person Perception: The Mediating Role of Social Realism and Proxy Efficacy

Xudong Liu, Ven-hwei Lo, Ran Wei, Xigen Li, Shengnan Pang, Ruiyao Zhang


This study examines the influences of media exposure, social realism, and proxy efficacy on the perceived effects of news about the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data collected from a sample of 1,190 college students in China, this study found that exposure to news about the pandemic is positively related to social realism and proxy efficacy. Furthermore, social realism and proxy efficacy were significantly correlated with third-person perception (TPP). Most importantly, the results of the study show that social realism and proxy efficacy also mediated the relationship between exposure to COVID-19 news and TPP.


COVID-19, media exposure, social realism, proxy efficacy, third-person perception, mediation effect

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