Selective Exposure Theory

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Selective Exposure Theory
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands

The theory of Agenda Setting has been developed to review the Theory of Selective Exposure. Selective Exposure says that people select those media outlets that support their ideas and predispositions. In other words, the media does not set the agenda but rather it reinforces beliefs and ideas that already exist. This thus contradicts the Agenda Setting theory.
The theory of selective exposure has been popular until the 1960s, but afterwards the popularity has been decreasing. However, it is important to mention that it is nowadays easier to engage in selective exposure, because media and information sources have multiplied. Nowadays, consumers have the ability to choose among much more media sources, which facilitates the process of finding those information sources that support one’s own beliefs and interests.
Therefore the debates on selective exposure are still persisting today.
Source: Stroud, N.J. (2008) “Media Use and Political Predispositions: Revisiting the Concept of Selective Exposure” Political Behavior Vol. 30 Iss.3 pp 341-366.



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