Sunday, December 31, 2017

The “hostile media effect” occurs when opposing partisans perceive identical news coverage of a controversial issue as biased against their own side

The Hostile Media Effect. Lauren Feldman. Chapter in  The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, edited by Kate Kenski and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199793471.013.011

Abstract: The “hostile media effect” occurs when opposing partisans perceive identical news coverage of a controversial issue as biased against their own side. This is a robust phenomenon, which has been empirically demonstrated in numerous experimental and observational studies across a variety of issue contexts and has been shown to have important consequences for democratic society. This chapter reviews the literature on the hostile media effect with an eye toward the theoretical explanations for it, its relationship to other psychological processes, and its broader implications for perceived public opinion, news consumption patterns, attitudes toward democratic institutions, and political discourse and participation. Particular attention is paid to how the hostile media phenomenon can help explain the public’s eroding trust in the news media and the recent polarization among news audiences. The chapter concludes with several suggestions for future research.

Keywords: active audience, biased assimilation, hostile media phenomenon, hostile media perception, media bias, perceived bias, persuasive press inference, polarization, partisan involvement, selective exposure, selective perception

Can political cookies leave a bad taste in one’s mouth?: Political ideology influences taste

Aner Tal, Yaniv Gvili, Moty Amar, Brian Wansink, (2017) "Can political cookies leave a bad taste in one’s mouth?: Political ideology influences taste", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 Issue: 11/12, pp.2175-2191,


Purpose: This study aims to examine whether companies’ donations to political parties can impact product experience, specifically taste.

Design/methodology/approach: Research design consists of four studies; three online, one in person. Participants were shown a cookie (Studies 1-3) or cereal (Study 4) and told that the producing company donated to either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party (Studies 1-3) or an unspecified party (Study 4).

Findings: Participants rated food products as less tasty if told they came from a company that donated to a party they object to. These effects were shown to be mediated by moral disgust (Study 3). Effects were restricted to taste and willingness to buy (Study 4), with no effects on other positive product dimensions.

Research limitations/implications: The studies provide a first piece of evidence that political donations by companies can negatively impact product experience. This can translate to purchase decisions through an emotional, rather than calculated, route.

Practical implications: Companies should be careful about making donations some of their consumers may find objectionable. This might impact both purchase and consumption decisions, as well as post-consumption word-of-mouth.

Originality/value: Companies’ political involvement can negatively impact subjective product experience, even though such information has no bearing on product quality. The current findings demonstrate that alterations in subjective product quality may underlie alterations in consumer decision-making because of ideologically tinged information, and reveals moral disgust as the mechanism underlying these effects. In this, it provides a first demonstration that even mild ideological information that is not globally bad or inherently immoral can generate moral disgust, and that such effects depend on consumers’ own attitudes.

Keywords: Evaluation, Food, Politics, Taste, Moral, Disgust

Frequency of sexual intercourse tends to be lower among Japanese couples compared to couples overseas, or are having more extramarital sex

Proximate Determinants of Fertility in Japan. Shoko Konishi, Emi Tamaki.. Biodemography of Fertility in Japan pp 13-42,

Abstract: Proximate determinants link both social and biological factors to fertility. In this section, we will summarize available data related to proximate determinants of fertility in Japan while referring to some of the related literature targeting populations overseas. In addition to data from published studies, we present our original data collected in the biodemography project, an Internet-based cross-sectional survey on reproductive history conducted in 2014 targeting Japanese women between 20 and 44 years of age. Following Wood’s conceptualization, the specific components of the proximate determinants of fertility referred to in this chapter are lactational infecundability, fecund waiting time to conception, and fetal loss (both spontaneous and induced). Additionally, papers on factors that are expected to significantly affect fecund waiting time to conception, i.e., frequency of sexual intercourse, length and regularity of menstrual cycle, and use of contraception and infertility treatment, will be reviewed.

Recent research suggests that frequency of sexual intercourse tends to be lower among Japanese couples compared to couples overseas (e.g., [1,21]).

The biodemography project revealed an overall low frequency of intercourse (Table 2.4). Additionally, when the participants were further categorized by their pregnancy intention, only 24% of married women who wanted to become pregnant and were not pregnant at the time of the survey were having intercourse 1+ day per week [1]. The proportion of women having intercourse 1+ day per week was even smaller for those who wanted to become pregnant in the future (14%) or who did not want to become pregnant (12%) [1]. The National Survey of Work and Family in Japan conducted in 2007 [21] also reported low coital frequency (Table 2.5); only 23% of women desiring a child had sexual intercourse at least once a week. The same survey showed that 21% of women aged between 20 and 29 years and 37% of women aged between 30 and 39 years were in sexless marriages, which refers to married or cohabitating couples who have not had any sexual intercourse for more than 1 month (Table 2.5, sum of “once in 2 months”, “once in 6 months”, and “not at all”) [21]. In a series of studies conducted by Arakawa and colleagues [16] to examine a possible association between chemical exposure and TTP, more than 70% of the respondents answered that the frequency of intercourse before their latest pregnancy was equal to or less than once a week (Table 2.6). These data suggest that the frequency of intercourse tends to be low among couples in Japan today, even when the sample is limited to couples who eventually achieved pregnancy or were actively trying to conceive.

[...] Although recent studies report relatively low frequency of sexual intercourse among Japanese couples compared to those in Western countries, studies conducted in the past report a higher frequency of intercourse among Japanese couples. For example, in 1955, Tsukamoto [25] reported that more than 80% of married women had sexual intercourse once a week or more (Table 2.7). Infrequent sexual intercourse among Japanese couples in recent years may be the result of sociocultural factors, including prevalent premarital sex [26], higher unemployment rates, and long working hours among those who are employed [27]. It is also possible that a lower frequency of marital sexual intercourse is often accompanied by active sexual activity outside the marital relationship, although we do not have sufficient data to support or reject this supposition.