This study examines selective exposure and selective avoidance on social media during the 2020 presidential election. 147 voters participated in the survey conducted using Qualtrics. The purpose of this study was to understand whether selective exposure and avoidance behaviors differed based on voting outcome (Trump or Biden), and to test whether political ideological polarization was reflected in news consumption through social media. Taken together, the results indicate that although both voting bases engaged in selective exposure and avoidance, the propensity was the same between Trump and Biden voters. Additionally, results confirm existing hypotheses that the strength of political ideology positively correlates with selective exposure. However, results challenge whether there is a relationship between the strength of political ideology and selective avoidance. Taken together, this study contributes to existing literature by providing preliminary evidence that, during the 2020 presidential election, polarization between members of political parties was reflected on social media through both news consumption and disengagement with attitude-incongruent information.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Communication Studies Department
Humanities and Social Sciences
Lemon, G. (2023). Partisan selective exposure on social media during the 2020 presidential election [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/1299/
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