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An Experimental Evaluation of Readers' Perceptions of Media Bias
Unformatted Document Text:  Media Bias - 11 accuracy of what they read, and in this case could not, since the stories were entirely fictitious. But each participant is capable of evaluating the bias of a story they read, and so the "bias implies inaccuracy" interpretation seems reasonable. Preliminarily, we note that 85 of the 146 respondents (58%) reported that they believed that the story they had read was entirely free from bias. 18 (12%) stated that they believed the story was entirely biased, while 39 (27%) circled an average of 2.8 specific paragraphs each to indicate that that particular content was biased. (Four students selected none of the options.) In consequence, we chose to conduct our omnibus hypothesis test using whether or not the participant thought the article was free from bias as the dependent measure. We felt that using this variable would minimize the consequences of restriction in range. Expectations concerning cuing and topic effects To test the validity of our first two expectations, we constructed a three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the judgment that the article was free of bias as the dependent measure. The three independent variables for this analysis were the cued status (cued or not) to examine our first expectation (E1), the topic (housing, parking or Bush) to examine the second (E2) and the order (pro points first, con points first) as a blocking variable. The use of ANOVA also permitted the direct examination of possible interaction effects. The results are presented as Table 1. _______________________________ Table 1 about here _______________________________ As the table shows, there were three statistically significant effects. However, it seems likely that the 3-way interaction is an anomaly: All eleven participants in the uncued condition who read the article on parking with the pro points listed first described the article as free from bias. This created a standard error for that cell of zero, inflating the F for the three-way interaction analysis. Since as many as ten participants in other cells also described their article as free from bias, a total of eleven in the one cell is not beyond the possibility of mere chance, and so it is likely that the three- way interaction is a statistical accident. There were no differences created by the order of points in the story. Unexpectedly, there was a non-significant main effect for the cued-status of the participants. Instead, there was a significant cued-status by topic interaction. To interpret this interaction, we deployed Fisher’s Least Significant Difference test to compare the means of the six cells of the cued-status by topic interaction matrix.

Authors: D'Alessio, Dave.
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Media Bias - 11
accuracy of what they read, and in this case could not, since the stories were entirely fictitious. But each participant is
capable of evaluating the bias of a story they read, and so the "bias implies inaccuracy" interpretation seems reasonable.
Preliminarily, we note that 85 of the 146 respondents (58%) reported that they believed that the story they had
read was entirely free from bias. 18 (12%) stated that they believed the story was entirely biased, while 39 (27%)
circled an average of 2.8 specific paragraphs each to indicate that that particular content was biased. (Four students
selected none of the options.)
In consequence, we chose to conduct our omnibus hypothesis test using whether or not the participant thought
the article was free from bias as the dependent measure. We felt that using this variable would minimize the
consequences of restriction in range.
Expectations concerning cuing and topic effects
To test the validity of our first two expectations, we constructed a three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA)
using the judgment that the article was free of bias as the dependent measure. The three independent variables for this
analysis were the cued status (cued or not) to examine our first expectation (E1), the topic (housing, parking or Bush) to
examine the second (E2) and the order (pro points first, con points first) as a blocking variable. The use of ANOVA
also permitted the direct examination of possible interaction effects. The results are presented as Table 1.
_______________________________
Table 1 about here
_______________________________
As the table shows, there were three statistically significant effects. However, it seems likely that the 3-way
interaction is an anomaly: All eleven participants in the uncued condition who read the article on parking with the pro
points listed first described the article as free from bias. This created a standard error for that cell of zero, inflating the F
for the three-way interaction analysis. Since as many as ten participants in other cells also described their article as free
from bias, a total of eleven in the one cell is not beyond the possibility of mere chance, and so it is likely that the three-
way interaction is a statistical accident.
There were no differences created by the order of points in the story.
Unexpectedly, there was a non-significant main effect for the cued-status of the participants. Instead, there
was a significant cued-status by topic interaction. To interpret this interaction, we deployed Fisher’s Least Significant
Difference test to compare the means of the six cells of the cued-status by topic interaction matrix.


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