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Hostile Public Effect: Communication Diversity and the Projection of Personal Opinions onto Others

Wojcieszak, M. & Rojas, H. (2011).  Hostile public effect: Communication diversity and the projection of personal opinions onto others. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 55(4), 543-562.

Abstract: In the context of Colombia, a society with high levels of polarization, this study finds that the projection of individual ideological leanings onto others diminishes with ideological extremity. The findings also show that communication diversity, understood as heterogeneous discussion networks and exposure to ideologically dissimilar news media, is negatively related to projecting one’s leanings on public opinion at large. This study further suggests that expressive Internet uses do not predict projection, and that informational uses are associated with reduced projection. Moreover, dissimilar media exposure moderates the relationship between extremism and projection by further reducing projection among ideologically extreme respondents. Discussion heterogeneity does not exert a similar moderating effect. Implications for future research are discussed.


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