Show Summary Details

Additional citations and updates to text.

Updated on 11 January 2018. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 July 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the theory of selective exposure, the idea that people purposefully select messages matching their beliefs. After reviewing several psychological explanations for why the phenomenon occurs, the chapter turns to describing various forms of selective exposure. Selective exposure can be studied in terms of whether people select news or entertainment, the issues about which people seek information, which medium is selected in obtaining information, and the extent to which like-minded information is preferred. Numerous moderators of the links between citizens’ beliefs and their information selection are presented. Next, the chapter details four different methodological techniques that have been used to study selective exposure. Finally, the chapter outlines a host of unanswered questions about selective exposure for future researchers to tackle.

Keywords: selective exposure, confirmation bias, issue public, partisanship, incidental exposure, cognitive dissonance, cognitive miser, emotion, media

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.