Selective Exposure

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  • A process that occurs when people seek out information that supports their preexisting viewpoints or decisions. It is one of several related concepts of media effects theories that first emerged in the 1950s, suggesting that mass media have only a limited effect on individuals and that people engage in selective exposure based on certain variables, such as family background, social class, and education. In 1960, Klapper, after reviewing the research to date on mass media, suggested that people use these self-protective devices when dealing with mass media and that the media have less power to change people's perceptions than to reinforce them. Prior to this time, theorists suggested that the media had much more influence over individuals and that people received and reacted to messages ...

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