There is much debate about the extent and type of polarization in the United States. While it is not clear whether Americans are ideologically more polarized and hold more extreme opinions on political issues, there is evidence that America’s elected officials are more divided along party lines, and that there is an affective rift between members of the two major parties. In this chapter, we test the effects of the new media environment on affective polarization. More specifically, we examine whether the ability to customize one’s information environment (via selective exposure to news) increases affective polarization. We present the results from three experiments where we simulate a political campaign and manipulate the media environment as well as the political polarization of the candidates running for office. The experiments are programmed using dynamic process tracing technology (DPTE) which allows us to track selective exposure to information, and to assess its effect on the affective rating of the competing candidates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)