Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Lee Wilkins


This study examined the effect of information availability on selective exposure and the effect of selective exposure on attitude reinforcement through emotional arousal. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias theories were utilized as framework to answer the effect of information availability. For the attitude reinforcement through emotional arousal, cognitive dissonance, selective exposure, and affective intelligent theories were employed. This study employed a novel approach by utilizing different proportions of congenial and uncongenial information as experimental conditions, high congenial, high uncongenial, and control conditions, to test the effects of information availability on selective exposure.

Results demonstrated that information availability affects selective exposure that information availability dominated attitude and political variables. Those in high congenial condition select greater congenial items and those in the high uncongenial condition read more uncongenial stories. Furthermore, selective exposure predicted attitude reinforcement through anxiety. Selective exposure reduced anxiety and reduced anxiety, in turn, strengthen attitude. Theoretical implication and suggestion for future research are discussed.

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