Projects per year
Recent work has suggested that media reporting about the public’s policy preferences may be self-reinforcing, contributing to greater policy conformity. This article presents additional evidence in support of this theory and adds new detail about the conditionality of these effects. Results from two experiments are described in which respondents are presented with excerpted news stories containing varying polling information about six separate issues. Findings indicate that (a) exposure to such poll results can elicit differences in support for the issue by as much as 10–15 percentage points; (b) the magnitude of these effects varies systematically and inversely in relation to overall attitudinal intensity levels for each issue; and (c) the opinions of specific subgroups referenced in polls matter, producing larger or smaller effects depending on how salient the group is to receivers of the information. Taken together, these results underscore why news reporting about public attitudes deserves greater attention as an important factor in the policy process.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: the research was supported by summer initiative funding from the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
© The Author(s) 2018.
- Political attitudes
- bandwagon effects
- public opinion
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Exploring the effects of polls on public opinion: How and when media reports of policy preferences can become self-fulfilling prophesies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Active
4/15/14 → …
Project: Research project