Political campaigning 2.0: The influence of online news and social networking sites on attitudes and behavior

  • Montathar Faraon Södertörn University, S-141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
  • Georg Stenberg Kristianstad University, S-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
  • Mauri Kaipainen Södertörn University, S-141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
Keywords: online news, social networking sites, attitudes, political campaign, Implicit Association Test, Facebook, Twitter

Abstract

This study aimed to examine differences in influence between online news (e.g., New York Times) and social networking sites (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) on attitudes in political campaigns. In a web-based experiment, campaign, polls and election between two fictitious candidates were simulated. Participants’ explicit and implicit attitudes as well as voting behavior were assessed using self-report items and the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The results reveal that
information emanating from online news had a significant influence on explicit and implicit attitudes while that of social networking sites did not. Overall, negative items had a stronger impact than positive ones, more so in online news
compared to social networking sites. Negative information from either type of media was more likely to change participants’ explicit attitudes in a negative direction and as a consequence also change their vote. Practical implications of the findings and limitations of the study are discussed.

Author Biographies

Montathar Faraon, Södertörn University, S-141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
School of Natural Sciences, Environmental Studies and Technology, Doctoral Candidate of Media Technology
Georg Stenberg, Kristianstad University, S-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden

Centre for Psychology, Professor Emeritus

Mauri Kaipainen, Södertörn University, S-141 89 Huddinge, Sweden
School of Natural Sciences, Environmental Studies and Technology, Professor of Media Technology
Published
2014-11-17
How to Cite
Faraon, M., Stenberg, G., & Kaipainen, M. (2014). Political campaigning 2.0: The influence of online news and social networking sites on attitudes and behavior. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 6(3), 231-247. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v6i3.230
Section
Research Papers