Effects of Long-Term Exposure to News Stereotypes on Implicit and Explicit Attitudes
A substantial body of research suggests that some news media outlets depict certain social groups stereotypically. We hypothesize that long-term exposure to such news influences viewers’ automatically activated gut feelings (i.e., implicit attitudes) toward this social group , which, in turn, may be used as a basis for overtly expressed evaluations (i.e., explicit attitudes). This prediction was investigated in three empirical studies in two cultural contexts. In the United States and Austria, results suggest that regular exposure to stereotypical news coverage creates negative implicit attitudes, which, in turn, alter explicit attitudes. A better understanding of the news stereotype effects will allow us to develop strategies to reduce prejudice, which may contribute to the improvement of a humane and open society.