Message, perception, and the beijing olympics : Impact of differential media exposure on perceived opinion diversity

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-445
Journal / PublicationCommunication Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


This study investigates the effects of media exposure on individuals' perception of opinion diversity and the psychological mechanisms underlying such effects. We compare the differential contributions of monopolistic with pluralistic media messages and test two conceptual models: The first delineates a mechanism of direct impact of media exposure on opinion perception; the second specifies a mechanism that relates to social projection effects. Using data from telephone interviews of a random sample of 595 Chinese citizens, we find that perceived opinion diversity is positively related to exposure to pluralistic media messages and negatively related to exposure to monopolistic media messages. Furthermore, opinion extremity is found to mediate such relationships. © The Author(s) 2011.

Research Area(s)

  • perceived opinion diversity, pluralistic versus monopolistic media messages, social projection