Qin, Abby Youran (2022). Judging “them” by my media use – Exploring the cause and consequences of perceived selective exposure. Mass Communication and Society, 2(25), 237-259.

[Download the accepted author version here!]

Conference Presentation

Qin, Abby Youran (2020). Judging “them” by my media use – Adapting the “influence of presumed influence” model for a polarized media environment. Paper presented at the 103rd Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), San Francisco, U.S.


Focusing on Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill movement and drawing on a sample of 527 pro-democracy Hong Kong students, this paper investigates the relations among selective exposure, perceived selective exposure, presumed media influence, and their potential consequences. It shows that individuals’ assumption of the outgroup’s media diet is a mirror image of their own media choices. The more an individual consumes like-minded information, the more he/she expects outgroup members to do so. On the contrary, the more one uses cross-cutting media, the more he/she expects outgroup members to engage in cross-cutting exposure as well. Individuals’ perceived media exposure of the outgroup will further influence their presumed media influence on the outgroup, which may trigger potential attitudinal and behavioral reactions. The findings shed new light on the consequences of selective exposure. Besides directly influencing us through pro-attitudinal information, selective exposure can also affect us indirectly, by making us believe that our rivals are also engaging in and polarized by selective exposure to ideologically congruent sources.