Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Issue Oriented Motivated Reasoning: How Selective Exposure Affects Attitude Schemas
by Dosch, Paul, Ph.D., University of South Dakota, 2019, 140; 27736505
Abstract (Summary)

This paper addresses a gap in the literature of selective exposure, motivated reasoning, and affective intelligence by considering affect utilizing issue politics. Understanding selective exposure and its potential effects is important in a representative democracy. Medium theory, motivated reasoning and affective intelligence are particularly useful to further our understanding of selective exposure and particularly how people react to information challenging their attitude schema. The issue used to measure the association between attitude change and the quantity of belief-challenging information is the manufacture, sale and possession of semi-automatic guns. Controlling the amount of belief-challenging information shows those exposed to high doses are more prone to attitude change, but only those who initially fell on the side of opposition to gun regulation. Against predictions, those subjects treated to a moderate amount of belief-challenging information did not, in fact, bolster their attitudes. Subjects who view social media as a credible source of information are also more inclined to attitude change in the face of significant amounts of challenging information. Additionally, subjects reporting certain emotions also experienced attitude change. A final post-test administered two weeks after the final treatment indicated more than half of those who previously experienced attitude change reverted back to, or at least toward, their previously held position. Limitations of this research and direction for future study are also discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fairholm, Matthew
Commitee: Gerrish, Ed, Hellwege, Julia, Semmler, Shane
School: University of South Dakota
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- South Dakota
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science
Keywords: Affective intelligence, Attitude, Gun control, Motivated reasoning, Selective exposure
Publication Number: 27736505
ISBN: 9798645484675
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