ERIC Number: ED269784
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Hostile Media or Hostile Audience? Relationships between Attitude Extremity and Trust in Media.
Gunther, Albert C.
Continuing an inquiry into what variables explain audience trust in media, a study drew upon two theoretical areas in attitude research to propose a curvilinear relationship between attitude extremity and trust in media--namely that individuals who feel fairly neutral toward an issue and those who report strongly held attitudes see the media as less credible than those with a moderate attitude. The data came from a random sample of 268 San Francisco area residents interviewed over the telephone about their attitudes toward mass media, news, and public opinion. Respondents were sorted into categories for low, moderate, or high extremity of attitude based on their responses to a Likert scale. As a result of this sorting scheme, the extremity of attitude measure was issue-specific but direction-free. The results supported the curvilinear relationship hypothesized, especially in the case of newspaper coverage of issues. The relationship appeared marginally significant for television. Political liberals demonstrated the curvilinear pattern, but conservatives' trust ratings declined steadily as their partisanship increased. (Charts illustrating the text are appended.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (69th, Norman, OK, August 3-6, 1986).