“Media Choice, Issue Salience, and Political Information Diffusion,” Taylor Carlson, WUSTL

Event time: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Online () See map
Event description: 


Abstract: How does information change as it flows from the news to the public via conversations? Previous work has shown that individuals have incentives to misrepresent political information as they communicate with others (Ahn, Huckfeldt, & Ryan 2014); and there is growing empirical evidence that individuals distort news content when they discuss it with others (Carlson 2018, 2019; Aarøe & Petersen 2020; Bøggild et al. 2020). Yet, the majority of this research relies on forced-exposure designs that eliminate the important effects of media selection. In this paper, I re-examine the question of how information changes when individuals summarize the news for the peers, allowing participants to choose their preferred news source. I investigate these patterns across three issue areas that vary in their partisan and political salience: tax policy, gun control, and unemployment.

Taylor Carlson is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis. She studies political communication and political psychology in American Politics. Her research focuses on understanding the content and consequences of interpersonal political communication. Her work has been published in the Journal of Politics, American Political Science Review, and Political Behavior, among other academic journals. Her first book (with Marisa Abrajano and Lisa García Bedolla) was recently published with Oxford University Press and her second book (with Jaime Settle) is under advanced contract with Cambridge University Press. Taylor’s research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and Facebook.

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