Economic Expectations, Optimistic Bias, and Television Viewing During Economic Recession: A Cultivation Study

Amir Hetsroni, Zachary Sheaffer, Uri Ben Zion, Mosi Rosenboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the relationship between TV viewing and economic expectations during economic recession. A content analysis of 84 hours of local network primetime programming (news and nonnews) identifies a moderate bias toward economic pessimism in the broadcasts. A survey of the adult population (N = 356) points at a significant positive relationship between TV viewing (total viewing and viewing of news programming) and economic pessimism at both the national and the personal levels. A similar relationship exists between TV viewing and optimistic bias-the tendency to be more pessimistic on economic matters at the national than at the personal level. These results remain significant when controlled for demographics, trust in national institutions, evaluation of current economic situation and consumption of media other than TV, and corroborate a second-order cultivation effect in the economic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-207
Number of pages28
JournalCommunication Research
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • cultivation
  • economy
  • expectations
  • optimism
  • optimistic bias
  • pessimism
  • recession
  • television

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