Selective Exposure Theory

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The article by Betsy Aimee, “What happened when I eliminated political dissent from my Facebook feed” analyzes the echo-chamber effect create through social media. In her writing, she reflects on this effect on individuals create by liking posts and pages, and eliminating many of the ideas that are not parallel with our own. Aimee was ignorant of this until she reposted a video of Sana Loesch blaming “godless left” for the San Bernardino shooting and the video was sponsored by Kimber, a manufacturer and seller of firearms. She felt inclined to share this video on her Facebook in order to expose the outrageous claims. When her old classmate commented on the video she was shocked and felt the need to block her from her newsfeed. She goes on to …show more content…
When people encounter material that opposes their beliefs it causes feelings of discomfort. This relates to Cognitive Dissonance Theory, in which people try to remove dissonance when their beliefs, attitudes and actions differ from one another. Selective Exposure Theory proposes that people eliminate their dissonance by selectively exposing themselves to like-minded information because it calls for less cognitive effort to the process the new knowledge (Kim, 2015). It assumes that people are able to select what external stimuli they expose themselves to (Brosius & Peter, 2011). However, there are three ways that counteract selective exposure which are perceived usefulness of the information, perceived norms of fairness, and curiosity. Some critiques of the theory suggest that researchers have found little support for the idea that selective exposure reduces cognitive dissonance. Selective exposure causes the reinforcement of one’s beliefs and prevents disagreement. This polarization of ideas and ignorance of contradicting views is toxic for our society due to the false perceptions it creates. Betsy Aimee is expose to this realization and reacts to the bubble she’s create due to the Selective Exposure …show more content…
How Selective Exposure and Disagreement Affect Political Polarization” by Kim (2015), contradicts the effect of selective exposure in Mass Communication and Interpersonal Communication. It examines people’s consumption of media outlets that share their own political dispositions rather than opposing. This media then leads them to develop more polarized attitudes in regards to certain issues and political figures. This is seen in the tendency of Democrats to pay more attention to NPR and CNN news channels, while Republicans pay more attention to FOX. However, both tend to ignore the other’s party’s preference of news outlet. The article discusses when there are like-minded groups, people are more likely to form split attitudes because of the member’s influence and pressure to conform to the group values. The study then looks at interpersonal discussion and how in politics can compensate for the damages done by social media. Interpersonal communication can help individuals acquire additional information, understand diverse viewpoints and provoke individuals to scrutinize any incomplete or slanted information that they receive from the likeminded media. The study examines the association between selective exposure and polarization. Researchers believe that selective exposure to similar points of view will threaten democracy by decreasing the tolerance people have for contrasting beliefs. This suggests that our society must

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