Combined Forces: Thinking and/or Feeling? How News Consumption Affects Anti-Muslim Attitudes through Perceptions and Emotions about the Economy

Laura Jacobs, Mark Boukes, Rens Vliegenthart
  • Political Studies, April 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0032321718765696

How News Consumption Affects Anti-Muslim Attitudes through Economic Perceptions and Emotions

What is it about?

This study develops a model that contributes to our understanding of the complex relationship between economic motivations and anti-Muslim attitudes by analyzing the underexplored role of news consumption. Using a large-scale Dutch panel dataset (n = 2694), we test a structural equation model theoretically grounded in group conflict theory, in which the relationship between news consumption and anti-Muslim attitudes is mediated by perceptions and emotions about the economy. Findings offer sound empirical support for the hypothesized model: news consumption increases pessimistic economic perceptions and negative emotions about the economy, which in turn strengthens anti-Muslim attitudes. The mechanism, however, largely depends on the type of news outlet and genre: watching television seems more decisive than reading newspapers; moreover, especially exposure to soft and popular news formats plays a dominant role.

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