A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-cutting Exposure on Political Participation

Jörg Matthes, Johannes Knoll, Sebastián Valenzuela, David Nicolas Hopmann, Christian von Sikorski

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Abstract

Scholars have advanced many theoretical explanations for expecting a negative or positive relationship between individuals’ cross-cutting exposure—either through interpersonal or mediated forms of communication—and their political participation. However, whether cross-cutting exposure is a positive or negative predictor of participation is still an unsettled question. To help fill this gap, we conducted a meta-analysis of 48 empirical studies comprising more than 70,000 participants examining the association between cross-cutting exposure and political participation. The meta-analysis produced two main findings. First, it shows that, over all studies, there is no significant relationship, r =.002, Zr =.002 (95% CI = −.04 to.05). Second, the null relationship cannot be explained by variations in the characteristics of cross-cutting environments (e.g., topic, place, or source of exposure), participation outcomes (e.g., online vs. offline activities), or methods employed (e.g., experiment vs. survey). Taken together, these results should alleviate concerns about negative effects of cross-cutting exposure on political engagement. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Communication
Volume36
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)523-542
ISSN1058-4609
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2. Oct 2019

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political participation
participation
experiment
Experiments

Keywords

  • cross-cutting exposure
  • disagreement
  • meta-analysis
  • political discussion
  • political participation

Cite this

Matthes, Jörg ; Knoll, Johannes ; Valenzuela, Sebastián ; Hopmann, David Nicolas ; von Sikorski, Christian. / A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-cutting Exposure on Political Participation. In: Political Communication. 2019 ; Vol. 36, No. 4. pp. 523-542.
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A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-cutting Exposure on Political Participation. / Matthes, Jörg; Knoll, Johannes; Valenzuela, Sebastián; Hopmann, David Nicolas; von Sikorski, Christian.

In: Political Communication, Vol. 36, No. 4, 02.10.2019, p. 523-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-cutting Exposure on Political Participation

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AU - Knoll, Johannes

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AB - Scholars have advanced many theoretical explanations for expecting a negative or positive relationship between individuals’ cross-cutting exposure—either through interpersonal or mediated forms of communication—and their political participation. However, whether cross-cutting exposure is a positive or negative predictor of participation is still an unsettled question. To help fill this gap, we conducted a meta-analysis of 48 empirical studies comprising more than 70,000 participants examining the association between cross-cutting exposure and political participation. The meta-analysis produced two main findings. First, it shows that, over all studies, there is no significant relationship, r =.002, Zr =.002 (95% CI = −.04 to.05). Second, the null relationship cannot be explained by variations in the characteristics of cross-cutting environments (e.g., topic, place, or source of exposure), participation outcomes (e.g., online vs. offline activities), or methods employed (e.g., experiment vs. survey). Taken together, these results should alleviate concerns about negative effects of cross-cutting exposure on political engagement. Implications for future research are discussed.

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