Understanding and Attenuating Overreported TV News Exposure: Testing Anonymity, Self-Affirmation, and Cognitive Survey Manipulations

Danit Shalev, Yariv Tsfati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research has demonstrated time and again that peoples’ self-reports of news exposure are heavily inflated and the reasons for this overreporting remain unclear. In three online survey experiments conducted in Israel, we manipulated the survey procedure to test cognitive and motivational explanations, and attempted to attenuate inflated reports of news exposure. While increasing or decreasing the anonymity of the survey (the ultimate test for social desirability) did not affect participants’ responses, a self-affirmation manipulation reduced reported exposure. A memory-aid manipulation also reduced reported television news exposure, suggesting that the cognitive mechanism possibly relates to memory failure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Broadcast Education Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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