Implications of Pro- and Counterattitudinal Information Exposure for Affective Polarization

R. Kelly Garrett*, Shira Dvir Gvirsman, Benjamin K. Johnson, Yariv Tsfati, Rachel Neo, Aysenur Dal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


The American electorate is characterized by political polarization, and especially by increasingly negative affective responses toward opposing party members. To what extent might this be attributed to exposure to information reinforcing individuals' partisan identity versus information representing the views of partisan opponents? And is this a uniquely American phenomenon? This study uses survey data collected immediately following recent national elections in two countries, the United States and Israel, to address these questions. Results across the two nations are generally consistent, and indicate that pro- and counterattitudinal information exposure has distinct influences on perceptions of and attitudes toward members of opposing parties, despite numerous cross-cultural differences. We discuss implications in light of recent evidence about partisans' tendency to engage in selective exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-332
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation1149599


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