Opinion Extremity Predicted by Media Exposure, Information Processing Mode, and Issue Sophistication About U.S.–China Trade Dispute

Yaxin Dai, Xigen Li


This study tested a model of predictors of opinion extremity about the U.S.–China trade dispute through a survey of 1,029 media users in China. The findings indicate that traditional and new media exposures do not differ significantly in their positive effects on opinion extremity. Systematic processing negatively moderates the relationship between new media exposure and opinion extremity, whereas systematic and heuristic processing modes show variant positive moderation effects on the relationship between traditional media exposure and opinion extremity. Issue sophistication is not found to be a moderator of the effect of media exposure on opinion extremity. Theoretical implications are discussed.


opinion extremity, media exposure, information processing mode, heuristic-systematic model, issue sophistication

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