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5 Perceptions of Media and Media Effects:

The Third Person Effect, Trust in Media and Hostile Media Perceptions

5. Media Effects/Media Psychology

1. Theories and Processes/Processing

1. Theories of/about Effects

  1. Yariv Tsfati,
  2. Jonathan Cohen

Published Online: 3 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems995

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

How to Cite

Tsfati, Y. and Cohen, J. 2012. Perceptions of Media and Media Effects:. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. 5:1:5.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 JAN 2012


Research about the way people perceive news media has made progress in three parallel avenues. The first used the concept of credibility and trust; the second used the concept of hostile media perceptions; and the third – focusing on perceptions of media impact – used the concept of the third-person perception. In this chapter, we argue that these three avenues are empirically and conceptually connected and that they are related to media effects in three ways. First, people's mistrust of media has been found to moderate the influence of media on the audience in an array of studies. Second, people's perceptions regarding media impact matter, albeit indirectly, because people react to these perceptions as if they were real. Third, the effects of perceptions of media influence are amplified when they are coupled with perceptions of media hostility, especially among audiences that are personally and emotionally involved in the issues on which media texts report.


  • Trust in media;
  • Presumed media influence;
  • Hostile media perceptions;
  • Third person effect;
  • Indirect media effects