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Archive for June 9th, 2009

Interacting with people in various college campuses and universities for the purpose of evangelism and apologetics, I’m amazed at how regularly in the beginning of the conversation, some tell us to read things beyond what we believe, assuming that our Christian faith and Conservative views imply our ignorance of “the other side”.

Here’s a summary of two different studies on this topic of reading “the other side”

Originally from Yahoo, “People Choose News that Fits their Views”,

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/peoplechoosenewsthatfitstheirviews

Conservatives buck the trend

Some findings from both researchers suggest that individual confidence and certainty play a role in what people choose to read.

People with stronger party affiliation, conservative political views, and greater interest in politics proved more likely to click on articles with opposing views, according to the Ohio State study.

“It appears that people with these characteristics are more confident in their views and so they’re more inclined to at least take a quick look at the counterarguments,” Knobloch-Westerwick noted.

However, Knobloch-Westerwick added that her latest study was not designed to assess reader motives, and that she hopes to more carefully study the issue in the future.

The Brigham Young University survey found that journalists also tended to read liberal blogs – perhaps a reflection of journalists’ political beliefs, although even conservatives said liberal blogs were often better-written, Davis pointed out.

Among the political blog readers, a similar trend emerged in which “liberals read almost exclusively liberal blogs, but conservatives tend to read both,” Davis said.

Davis offered another possible explanation for this trend among blog readers. Conservative views dominate talk radio, and so conservatives may feel more satisfied by that outlet and are willing to check out opposing views on blogs.

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