Trusting the Facts: The Role of Framing, News Media as a (Trusted) Source, and Opinion Resonance for Perceived Truth in Statistical Statements

Elina Lindgren, Torun Lindholm, Rens Vliegenthart, Hajo G. Boomgaarden, Alyt Damstra, Jesper Strömbäck, Yariv Tsfati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scholars have raised concerns that on many issues, citizens are reluctant to trust factual evidence and statistics. One factor that has been shown to impact the perceived truth in statistics is how they are presented, where negatively framed statistics are perceived as truer than positive. This study explores when this bias applies and not. Results from a survey experiment confirm the presence of a negativity bias in truth perceptions, but also that effects are heterogeneous and moderated by, in particular, the recipients’ preexisting opinions. These findings provide valuable information to public actors responsible for disseminating factual information to diverse publics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 AEJMC.

Keywords

  • equivalence framing
  • media trust
  • negativity bias
  • opinion resonance
  • perceived truth in statistical statements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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