Nicoletta Cavazza, Augusto Palmonari

Percezione dell'influenza della TV e orientamento politico: l'effetto della terza persona in un contesto maggioritario imperfetto

  • Abstract

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The research is based on the hypothesis of the "third person effect" which has been evidenced many times in the literature about the construction of public opinion, it is modulated by the categorical membership of the subject and target, which is defined by criteria of political relevance. That effect is the result of the fact that people consider others to be more influenced by mass media than themselves. We administered a questionnaire to 314 adults (180 man and 131 women) aged between 18 and 69 yrs in which there was an association task using the stimulus words Propaganda, mass media and Persuasion and a judgement task of the vulnerability to the influence of mass media regarding 13 targets and themselves. The results show that left wing and right wing subjects differentiate themselves from members of their ingroup, and the in-group from the outgroup concerning the vulnerability to the influence. Whereas the subjects who were politically central only differentiated themselves from other people without ingroup/outgroup modulation. In the same way those interested in politics judge those less interested in politics as more vulnerable to the influence of the mass media compared to members of their ingroup. The same effect of inter-group modulation does not emerge for categorisations not concerning politics (i.e. gender belonging). The analyses of the results of the association task show that those subjects who are politically central express a negative impression to mass media whereas left wing and right wing subjects share a more neutral impression of mass media centred on the perception of disclosed information.

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