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.
|Journal||Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) for the advancements of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Grant No: M18-0310:1). The authors are also grateful to the editors and the anonymous reviewers of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly for their feedback and comments on the manuscript, and to the Laboratory of Opinion Research (LORE) at University of Gothenburg, for their assistance with data collection.
© 2022 AEJMC.
- equivalence framing
- media trust
- negativity bias
- opinion resonance
- perceived truth in statistical statements
ASJC Scopus subject areas