Partisan Selective Exposure as Discussion Preparation: The Role of Discussion Expectations and Entertainment Options

Mingxiao Sui, Raymond J. Pingree


This experiment tested the effects of expectations of future discussion (oriented toward either persuasion or understanding) and the presence (or absence) of non-news entertainment options on partisan selective exposure. Among Democrats but not Republicans, a non-news entertainment option reduced time spent watching other-party media. Republicans responded to expectations of understanding-oriented discussion by watching more own-party media, whereas Democrats responded by watching less own-party media. These findings are important for isolating causal factors that lead to partisan selective exposure and may help suggest conditions under which this phenomenon could be reduced.


political communication, selective exposure, entertainment options, partisan exposure, conversation orientation

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