Behavioral consequences of the third-person effect on turkish voters

İz, Bennur
The third-person effect is the tendency of individuals to believe that others are more susceptible to media influence than themselves and this perception causes them to act accordingly. This study aimed to reveal the relationship between the third-person effect and voting intentions. After reading one of the two versions of a vignette about a media discussion of possible election results, both of which claimed only two major parties could pass the election threshold, Turkish university students (N=285) first evaluated the impact of the message on self and on others and then reported whether they would vote for the same party they supported or they would choose another one. Results supported the perceptual component of the third-person effect, indicating that participants believed they were less influenced by the message compared to the others. Although it was predicted that this perception would increase when the message was assumed as negative, findings did not support this hypothesis. Furthermore, the hypothesis suggesting that the third-person effect would cause behavioral consequences (change in voting intentions) was not supported. However, content analysis made a valuable contribution to interpret the findings. Possible explanations for the findings and directions for future studies about the third-person effect on voting intentions were discussed.


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Citation Formats
B. İz, “Behavioral consequences of the third-person effect on turkish voters,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.