The effect of conflicting information on media skepticism

Michael D. Cozzens, Noshir S. Contractor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Media skepticism is defined as the degree to which individuals tend to disbelieve or discount the picture of reality presented in the mass media. Media skepticism is caused in part by the process by which individuals are confronted with discrepancies between their personal experience of reality and the reality portrayed in the media. As a result, they discount the media portrayal. Given this conceptualization, it was hypothesized that exposure to nonmediated information that conflicts with information gained from a media source would cause an increase in media skepticism. The hypothesis was tested in a controlled experiment. Results support the hypothesis and suggest that media skepticism may be a useful construct for future research in communication processes and effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-451
JournalCommunication Research
StatePublished - 1987


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