Sude, D. J., Pearson, G. D. H., Knobloch-Westerwick, S. (in press). Self-expression just a click away: Source interactivity impacts on confirmation bias and political attitudes. Computers in Human Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106571
Abstract: Information is now commonly consumed online, often displayed in conjunction with self-expression affordances (i.e., likes, votes) that create a sense of “self as source.” Sundar et al.’s (2015) theory of interactive media effects (TIME) conceptualizes such affordances as source interactivity (SI). An experiment examined medium effects of SI as well as message effects on attitudes. It tracked selective exposure to attitude-consistent vs. –discrepant political messages, to capture confirmation bias, and manipulated SI presence (affordance to up-vote or down-vote articles present or absent) as within-subjects factors. SI use and attitude change were captured. SI reduced selective exposure to attitude-consistent content. However, use of SI affected attitude reinforcement independently as well. Hence, users shaped their own attitudes both by selectively reading articles and expressing their views through SI. Directions for theory development are offered.