New publication by Homero Gil de Zúñiga, Hugo Marcos-Marné, and Emily Carty in the journal Political Communication.

“Abating Dissonant Public Spheres: Exploring the Effects of Affective, Ideological and Perceived Societal Political Polarization on Social Media Political Persuasion”

Prior research underscores the utility of political persuasion to sustain more engaged democracies and as a vital element in political campaigning processes. When citizens display increased openness to political attitude change, societies benefit as diverse viewpoints thrive, and less dissonant public spheres may be fostered. This contrasts with today’s contentious political and media environment. With political polarization on the rise, and new social media avenues enabling citizens to curate more diverse news consumption patterns, little is known about how this polarization influences the ability for citizens to be politically persuaded in social media environments. Relying on representative US panel survey data, this study seeks to shed light on this phenomenon by testing the effects of three distinct types of political polarization: Affective, ideological, and perceived societal. Panel autoregressive causal order regression and structural equation models clarify the direct and indirect negative role of polarization in predicting social media political persuasion. Theoretical implications of these findings, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are all discussed.

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