New Publication! Aroused Argumentation: How the News Exacerbates Motivated Reasoning


Ming Boyer published his article on the role of aroused affective states for motivated reasoning in The International Jouranl of Press Politics! Congratulations!

You can find the full article, published open access, here

"There is increasing evidence that citizens consume the news because it arouses them. However, to explain the motivated processing of news messages, research usually focuses on negative discrete emotions or the valence dimension of affect. This means that the role of arousal is largely overlooked. In this experiment, conducted in 2019 in Austria, I exposed 191 citizens to a televised news item about immigration—varying the level of threat, while taking physiological measures of negative valence and arousal, followed by self-reported indicators of motivated reasoning. The results indicate that combining the valence and arousal dimensions of affect is the preferred way to understand citizens' reactions to political news. While negative affect predicted motivated reasoning, these effects were much more pronounced for those who experienced high arousal at the same time. Not only does this illuminate some of the black box behind motivated reasoning, the consequences for journalism are profound: the way that journalists cover the news might unwittingly drive citizens apart."

Boyer M.M. (2021). Aroused Argumentation: How the News Exacerbates Motivated Reasoning. The International Journal of Press/Politics. (Online first). doi:10.1177/19401612211010577

(c) Figure 3, Boyer (2021)