25 January 2013, 12:50-2:05p,
Gates B01, Stanford
The Internet gives individuals more choice in political news and information sources and more tools to filter out disagreeable information. Citing the preference described by selective exposure theory - that people prefer information that supports their beliefs and avoid counter-attitudinal information - observers warn that people may use these tools to access and create ideological echo chambers, increasing the polarization of different political groups and decreasing society's ability to solve problems.
In this talk, I present research on political information exposure in two types of online spaces. First, I describe individuals' preferences for the range of political opinions that news aggregators present, ways to measure the diversity of exposure in those spaces, and selection and presentation techniques for increasing the diversity of exposure. Second, I discuss non-political spaces, where preferences other than politics shape people's behavior, but where people may still serendipitously encounter political information.