The influence of prior issue attitudes on perception bias and perceived message credibility in participatory websites

Jehoon Jeon


Using a simulated participatory website focused on the issue of a smoking ban, this study investigates whether individuals perceive similar messages differently and how their prior issue attitudes relate to perception bias and perceived message credibility in the context of online environment. In general, findings indicate biased assimilation of media content online. Participants perceived the entire online discussion to be congruent with their prior issue attitudes. However, for the smoking ban supporters, a relative hostile media perception was observed in that they perceive the ban opposing messages as significantly more biased in favor of the opposing position. Lastly, participants perceived a higher level of credibility for specific posts supporting their own point of view. Findings and implications are discussed in comparison with previous research on media perception.

Keywords: prior issue attitude, perception bias, biased assimilation, hostile media perception, perceived message credibility, smoking ban, participatory websites

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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