Contextualizing Cognitive Consonance by a Social Mechanisms Explanation: Moderators of Selective Exposure in Media Usage

Dominik Becker, Tilo Beckers, Simon Tobias Franzmann und Jörg Hagenah

Abstract

While many studies from analytical sociology apply agent-based modeling to analyze the transformational mechanisms linking the micro to the macro level, we hold the view that both situational and action formation mechanisms can rather be unveiled by means of more advanced quantitative methods. By focusing on selective exposure to quality newspapers, our study has both an analytical and a substantive aim. First., our analytical aim is to amend the psychological mechanism of avoiding cognitive dissonance by social mechanisms allowing postulates on how the selective exposure effect might vary by particular social groups. Second, our substantive aim is to set the ground for a longitudinal analysis of selective exposure to quality papers by placing these social mechanisms in the context of social and cultural change. By referring to hypothetical data, we illustrate which kind of (multilevel) moderator effects would have to hold if our hypotheses were true.

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The Journal is devoted to the fundamental issues of empirical and normative social theory, and is directed at social scientists and social philosophers who combine commitment to political and moral enlightenment with argumentative rigour and conceptual clarity. Published articles develop social theorizing in connection with analytical philosophy and philosophy of science.

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