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People Use the Internet to Reinforce Their Beliefs, Study Says


While the Internet has certainly ushered in a new information age, most people, when searching for news, will focus primarily on the information sources they already knowingly support, according to a study performed by Ohio State University. The study monitored 156 college students as they read online articles on a variety of subjects, including gun control and abortion, and tracked the time the students spent reading differing viewpoints.

The students spent 36-percent more time reading articles with views similar to their own, and were 15-percent more likely to pick a story espousing their own ideologies than they were to pick a story with conflicting beliefs. While it's not exactly earth-shattering to find that most people use the Internet to reinforce their beliefs instead of to investigate opposing ones, one result of the survey may surprise some folks.

Conservative talk show hosts and supposedly right-leaning network news broadcasts are often confronted with allegations from liberals of stubbornly dismissing different beliefs. The OSU study, though, showed that conservatives were more likely than liberals to select and read articles of a differing political mindset. Maybe that news channel (or its audience, at least) really is fair and balanced after all. [From: LiveScience]

Tags: internet, internet news, InternetNews, politics, press, top

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