Media imagery and political choice [electronic resource] : how visual cues influence the citizen news diet
- Laura Ann Granka.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
- The research presented in this manuscript contrasts a text-only and graphical display of news, to assess the personal and environmental factors affecting news preferences. This research was conducted in two stages. First, an online experiment and survey of 1,000 participants assessed the effects of political attitudes, personal demographics, and visual cues on news selection behaviors. Second, an eyetracking study evaluated the ocular and cognitive behaviors associated with the processing of each news display. Analyses specifically examined which factors influence (i) an individual's preferences for hard and soft news, (ii) an individual's preferences for specific news sources, and (iii) how stable or susceptible to change these preferences are over time. Results indicate that visual design, political attitudes, and personal demographics all affect the type of news and source selected. Specifically, a graphical news layout encourages the selection of soft news categories, though this is moderated by education. A graphical layout also enables more repeat selections to the same source. Furthermore, eyetracking shows that a graphical news format produces lower levels of attention and cognitive processing. Broader implications for the future of news display and news acquisition are discussed.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of Communication.
- Ph.D. Stanford University 2011