Third-person effect and hostile media perception influences on voter attitudes toward polls in the 2008 U.S. presidential election

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-190
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


Focusing on the milestone 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, this study explores how perceived impact of polls is influenced by one's social comparison groups and perception of media hostility. Results, using survey data of 541 respondents, show that respondents perceived others as more vulnerable than themselves to the influence of election polls. Even though all of the published polls consistently indicated Obama's lead, some supporters of Obama and opponents of McCain reported that the polls were in favor of McCain. Most importantly, the third-person perception and the perceived poll bias were found to be associated with voters' attitudes toward restrictions on election polls and their intention to engage in campaign discourse. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The World Association.

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