Do Third-Person Perceptions Amplify Exemplification Effects?
The presumed underlying mechanism of exemplification effects is that people generalize single-case media depictions and overestimate their position of social relevance, while at the same time neglecting more valid base-rate information. A 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment with n = 112 participants explored whether these exemplification effects can be explained by presumptions of strong media influences on others. Participants were shown a “rate my professor”-type website stimulus in which a single user had commented on a university course. Results show that fundamental assumptions of exemplification research interact with presumed media influences: exemplification effects can be amplified by third-person perceptions, particularly when people assess public opinion.