The Effect of Partisan Media Exposure on the 2016 Presidential Election
Buchness, Madison Emmie
Does partisan media influence people’s attitudes? In particular, does media bias influence voters’ attitudes toward presidential candidates? One perspective is that voters’ opinions of candidates are due to other factors, such as, social relationships or work environments. In other words, the media does not matter in opinion formation. Another possibility is that television programs do influence viewers to believe a certain message. It might be the case that viewing partisan media, like Fox and MSNBC, move opinions in a direction consistent with the message conveyed. This subject is important, as the republic was formed with the intention of having informed voters, and the media plays a vital role in educating that electorate (Lippman, 1922). The American republic stands on the idea of informed voters choosing their next leader (Carpini and Keeter, 1996). But, framing theory suggests the way an issue or candidate is “framed” affects the opinions people form about those issues or candidates. This clearly strays from the idea of a rational voter forming opinions based on information only. In this study, I used the 2016 and 2012 American National Election Studies data to examine how exposure to partisan framed media affects candidate evaluations. I find that partisan media does affect people’s feelings toward presidential candidates. In the next section, I review research on minimal effects, selective exposure, and framing to help answer the research question. Following that, I discuss the data and methods involved in the study. After an explanation of the methods that I used, I share my findings. In the final section, I present my conclusions of this analysis and the implications.
Buchness, Madison Emmie. (May 2018). The Effect of Partisan Media Exposure on the 2016 Presidential Election (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6881.)
Buchness, Madison Emmie. The Effect of Partisan Media Exposure on the 2016 Presidential Election. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2018. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/6881. June 15, 2019.
Buchness, Madison Emmie, “The Effect of Partisan Media Exposure on the 2016 Presidential Election” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2018).
Buchness, Madison Emmie. The Effect of Partisan Media Exposure on the 2016 Presidential Election [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2018.
East Carolina University