Author(s) : Dorothee Arlt, Caroline Dalmus, Julia Metag
This article examines hostile media perceptions (HMPs) by building on recent trends in hostile media research. Our study considers the effects of people’s cognitive as well as their affective involvement on HMPs. As the media landscape has changed fundamentally since HMPs were initially identified, the role of social media is explored more profoundly. In addition, this article not only examines the direct effects of involvement and communication activities but tests for indirect effects of involvement mediated through media use and interpersonal discussions. Using data simultaneously collected from two online surveys conducted in Germany and the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the findings strengthen previous evidence that affective involvement is a stronger predictor of HMPs than cognitive involvement. In contrast, media use and interpersonal discussions had only marginal direct effects. The study provides initial evidence for the indirect effects of involvement mediated through exposure to online user comments and interpersonal discussions.