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They Saw a Triple Lutz: Bias and Its Perception in American and Russian Newspaper Coverage of the 2002 Olympic Figure Skating Scandal1


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    Parts of the data in this article were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA, January 2005; and the 17th annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Los Angeles, CA, May 2005.

Elena Stepanova, Department of Psychology, Campus Box 1125, One Brookings Drive, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO 63130. E-mail:


We explored bias and its perception in newspaper reports of the 2002 Olympics figure skating controversy. American and Russian articles were examined for their perceptions of the Canadian and Russian pairs' performances, directionality of the Russian and American media and publics' biases, and media awareness of those biases. Reporters' accounts varied as a function of country of affiliation and indicated a one-sided acknowledgment of media and public bias. The American media acknowledged a pro-Canadian bias in their reporting; there was no self-bias acknowledgment in the Russian press. Country of affiliation produced one-sided coverage of this event, and even the American media's awareness of self-biases did not ensure bias-free reporting. These findings are discussed amid respective countries' cultural and political contexts.