The extended reliance on media can be seen as one indicator of mediatization. But even though we can assume that the pervasive character of digital media essentially changes the way people experience everyday life, we cannot take these experiences for granted. There has recently been a formulation of three tasks for mediatization research; historicity, specificity and measurability, needed to empirically verify mediatization processes across time and space. In this article, we present a tool designed to handle these tasks, by measuring the extent to which people experience that media reach into the deeper layers of daily human life. The tool was tested in an empirical study conducted in Sweden in 2017. The results show that perceived media reliance is played out in relation to three types of basic desires: (1) (re)productive desires, (2) recognition desires, and (3) civic desires, and is socially structured and structuring. We argue this tool, in diachronic analyses, can measure one important aspect of mediatization.
Previous studies have emphasized a person’s biological sex as a factor which influences online search behavior. This study aims to investigate how people (N = 44 students) search online for political information (N = 220 search tasks) and if gendered online search exists. We examined online search behavior via eye tracking while the participants searched for information about political party positions on the Internet. A content analysis of the eye tracking data followed and was evaluated with a special focus on the role of biological sex and social gender, and the relationship of both factors with other variables, such as self-reported prior political knowledge, political interest, and Internet skills (via an online survey). The results accord with previous studies in that the sex influences the online search process. However, this relationship was partially mediated by self-reported political interest and prior knowledge. This outcome calls for a more critical use of the sex variable in reference to political online search behavior, and the inclusion of sex and gender related variables.
Previous research has shown that uncertainty communication by scientists (i. e., expressing reservations towards their own research) increases the public’s trust in their work. The reasons for this have not been elucidated, however. In the present study, we provide a theoretical explanation for this phenomenon. Specifically, we expected that attributed communicator bias would mediate the effect of uncertainty communication on trust. Results from a mixed-design experiment (N = 88), using modified science news articles, revealed support for this hypothesis. Positive effects of uncertainty communication on trust and donation intention were both mediated by attributed communicator bias.
Drawing on the spiral of silence theory and heuristic information processing, we contend that individuals use likes as sources for assessing public opinion. We further argue that individuals may even adapt their personal opinions to the tenor reflected in those cues. The assumptions were tested using data from an experiment involving 501 participants, who encountered media items on two issues with or without likes. The findings show that respondents inferred public opinion from the media bias if it was supported by likes, however, only in cases of high levels of fear of social isolation. Respondents further adapted their personal opinion to the media bias if it was supported by likes.
This article explores contemporary film genre preferences through an in-depth sociological analysis of taste cultures in film preferences amongst youth aged 16–18 in Flanders (the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium). Building on a representative sample of 1015 respondents we statistically analyze the assumption that contemporary media audiences demonstrate mobility and that they are eager to shape their media consumption in accordance with their personal preferences. This article examines whether societal structures that have been found to reflect media preferences remain in place, or whether these structures have eroded with the (supposed) increase in individual choice – an argument often voiced in the context of convergence culture. An analysis of the variables gender, educational level and ethnicity illustrates that societal structures are still reflected through film genre preferences amongst Flemish youth.