The Psychology of Media and Politics


  • George Comstock, Syracuse University, New York, U.S.A.
  • Erica Scharrer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, U.S.A.

Research indicates that people discount their own opinions and experiences in favor of those of "experts" as espoused in the media. The framing of news coverage thus has a profound impact on public opinion, and political decision making as a response to public outcry. However, the choice of how to frame the news is typically made to solicit viewership and high ratings rather than to convey accurate and meaningful information. This book discusses why people discount their own opinions, how the media shapes the news, when this drives political decision making, and what the effect is on the future of society. Issues addressed include: * How powerful are the media in shaping political beliefs/judgment? * How has this power changed in recent years? * How does media influence voting behavior? * To what extent do media opinions affect political decision making?
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Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members studying media and politics; students and researchers in political communication, political science, and political psychology fields; students and researchers in communication and psychology.


Book information

  • Published: April 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-183552-1


"...a compendium of often interesting theories, studies, and typologies." --Stuart Fischoff for PsycCRITIQUES - Volume 51, Issue 46

Table of Contents

The Psychology of Media and PoliticsGeorge Comstock and Erica ScharrerPrefaceAcknowledgementsPart IEarly KnowledgeChapter I – Conventional WisdomChapter II – Necessary CorrectionsPart IIPress and PublicChapter III – The New MediaChapter IV – The GoodsChapter V – Heterogeneous FacesPart IIIThe Collective SelfChapter VI – Using the MediaChapter VII – Beyond PoliticsReferencesEpilogueAuthor IndexSubject Index