Why Media Claims Seem Biased(Stanford University, 1985)


When people feel that the media's claims are biased

When people feel that the media's claims are biased, it's when themedia reports on an issue that they care about.
When interested in a particular issue, people tend to feel the bias ofthe media everywhere, whether or not the bias actually exists.

How the media's claims are likely to be seen as biased

When people feel that the media's claims are biased, they usually endup feeling that the claims are biased in favor of a position theydisagree with.
They also think that if a neutral-minded person sees the claims ofthat media, he persuade them to take the opposite position.

Why media claims seem biased

According to the study referenced here, there are two reasons why themedia's claims appear to be biased.

  • There's a prejudice that claims are only black or white.
    People have a tendency to assume that if a claim is not the same astheir own, then all other claims are biased towards claims that arehostile to them.
    That is, a balanced gray claim that is neither white nor black isinterpreted as an opposition claim.
  • There's a gray area in the media's claim.
    To begin with, not all issues can be clearly identified as black or white.
    However, when people have a claim to a particular issue, they tend tofocus on where they don't agree rather than where their claims matchup with those of the other person.
    As a result, if there is a gray part in the claim, it will beinterpreted as the opposition's claim.

Referenced Scientific Papers

Research InstituteStanford University
Year The Study Was Published1985
Quote SourceVallone et al., 1985
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