The author is grateful to Paul Resnick, Bruce Bimber, Paul Edwards, Russ Neuman, and Andrew Hayes for their valuable feedback on this work.
Echo chambers online?: Politically motivated selective exposure among Internet news users1
Version of Record online: 30 MAR 2009
Copyright © 2009 International Communication Association
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 265–285, January 2009
How to Cite
Garrett, R. K. (2009), Echo chambers online?: Politically motivated selective exposure among Internet news users. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14: 265–285. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01440.x
- Issue online: 30 MAR 2009
- Version of Record online: 30 MAR 2009
- online news;
- echo chambers;
- selective exposure;
- political communication
A review of research suggests that the desire for opinion reinforcement may play a more important role in shaping individuals’ exposure to online political information than an aversion to opinion challenge. The article tests this idea using data collected via a web-administered behavior-tracking study with subjects recruited from the readership of 2 partisan online news sites (N = 727). The results demonstrate that opinion-reinforcing information promotes news story exposure while opinion-challenging information makes exposure only marginally less likely. The influence of both factors is modest, but opinion-reinforcing information is a more important predictor. Having decided to view a news story, evidence of an aversion to opinion challenges disappears: There is no evidence that individuals abandon news stories that contain information with which they disagree. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.