Does Proclaimed Doubt in Media Spill Over to Doubt in Science? A Laboratory Experiment in the Context of Climate Change

33 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018 Last revised: 8 Jun 2018

See all articles by Hendrik Bruns

Hendrik Bruns

University of Hamburg - School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Date Written: May 30, 2018

Abstract

Labeling news as fake is a recent phenomenon occurring predominantly online, and increasingly in political online environments. This paper investigates the influence of proclaimed doubt in media independence on trust in news- and scientific reports on climate change. Evidence from a preregistered laboratory experiment does not suggest that reading a media-critic statement affects perceived trust in the media-, or the scientific source. Bayesian analyses provide a practical interpretation of the null findings, and further analyses show that the proclamation decreases trust in the scientific source when subjects read the media article first. Findings add to the emerging literature on fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, suggesting that labeling stories or outlets as fake news may not affect public opinion. Further research is needed to substantiate this conclusion.

Keywords: climate change, experiment, fake news, media, skepticism, trust

JEL Classification: H41, Q54

Suggested Citation

Bruns, Hendrik, Does Proclaimed Doubt in Media Spill Over to Doubt in Science? A Laboratory Experiment in the Context of Climate Change (May 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3131825 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3131825

Hendrik Bruns (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Welckerstrasse 8
Hamburg, D-20354
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
356
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information