Selective exposure: The impact of framing information search instructions as gains and losses

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Abstract

Previous research has found that people prefer information that supports rather than conflicts with their decisions (selective exposure). In the present paper, we investigated whether selective exposure was influenced by the method of information collection. Based on Prospect Theory we hypothesized that the method of selection (MOS), where simply selected pieces of information are considered, would lead to a higher selective exposure compared to the method of elimination (MOE), where pieces of information are rejected and the remaining pieces of information are considered. In fact, we found that participants collected information more selectively when they were instructed to use the MOS compared to the MOE. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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