How Much should We Worry about the Polarization effect of ...

How Much should We Worry about the Polarization effect of ...

How Much should We Worry about the Polarization effect of Polarized News Media? Assessment with Agent-Based Simulation Frank C. S. Liu Institute of Political Science

National Sun Yet-San University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan Paper prepared for the Computing in Economics and Finance (June 20-22, 2015) Taipei, Taiwan

Lets analyze public opinion as a market of preferences, Or a flow of water The Empirical Puzzles

The public, especially the younger generation, becomes less interested in

accessing political or electoral news. Will it affects the environment that cultivates democratic citizenship? Why and Why not? Research Qeustions

What if voters become less interested in watching, reading, or listening to political news but still habitually discuss politics? What if voters become less interested in political discussion but still turn to the mass media for political information?

What if individuals become indifferent to both communication networks and news media and dive into electronic entertainment? The Mechanism and Key

Terms News Access -> Heterogeneity in Political Surroundings -> Voting Behavior (Mutz & Martin, 2001) Heterogeneity in political surroundings: the level of an individuals subjective

perception of the composition of their networks Political disagreement: inconsistency between the of the focal respondent and those of the discussants within her political surroundings.

Hypothesis 1 If citizens becomes less interested in

accessing news sources but remain interested in discussing politics (no pebble in a swirl), the proportion of individuals who perceive network heterogeneity will decrease.

[influenced by their self-selected opinion leaders] Hypothesis 2

If citizens becomes less interested in discussing politics but remain interested in accessing the self-selected news media (many pebble no swirl), the proportion of voters who perceive network heterogeneity will increase.

[avoidance of social network homogenization] Internal Validation of the Model John Zallers (1992) Receive-Accept-Sample

(RAS) model. The reception axiom (Axiom 1): the politically aware or political experts are more conscious of political issues and are more likely to acquire political information actively. The resistance axiom (Axiom 2) indicates that the

awareness of political information determines ones propensity to reject incoming political information. 9/6/12 Internal Validation of the Model The accessibility axiom (Axiom 3) : individuals

base their statement of preference on information recently stored in their memory. The response axiom (Axiom 4) : individuals sample these stored messages to form their attitudes by averaging across the considerations that are immediately salient or accessible to them

9/6/12 Two Types of Citizen Agents Major Findings and

Discussions

The decline in political news access will decrease the number of individuals who perceive heterogeneity in voter preference involvement in political discussion decreases a society-wide perception of

heterogeneity in voter preference Citizens are subject to the influence of swirls and the news media plays a role of keeping opinions surrounding pebbles. If Swirls Only

Media, Pebble, and Swirls

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