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The Korean Society for Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 64 , No. 4

[ Article ]
Korean Journal of Journalism & Communication Studies - Vol. 64, No. 4, pp.289-324
Abbreviation: KSJCS
ISSN: 2586-7369 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Aug 2020
Received 10 Apr 2020 Revised 13 Jul 2020 Accepted 31 Jul 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20879/kjjcs.2020.64.4.008

이용자의 정보 환경 맞춤화가 시사 지식과 SNS상의 의견 표현에 미치는 영향 : 정치 성향에 따른 선택적 노출과 우연적 이견 노출의 역할을 중심으로
유연** ; 금희조*** ; 조재호****
**성균관대학교 미디어커뮤니케이션학과 석사과정 (lyre5216@naver.com)
***성균관대학교 미디어커뮤니케이션학과 교수 (hkeum@skku.edu)
****캘리포니아대학교-데이비스 커뮤니케이션학과 교수 (jaecho@ucdavis.edu)

The Effects of Customized Information Environments on Knowledge and Expression on SNS : Focusing on the Roles of Selective Exposure and Incidental Exposure
Yan Liu** ; Heejo Keum*** ; Jaeho Cho****
**Master‘s Student, Department of Media and Communication, Sungkyunkwan Univerity (lyre5216@naver.com)
***Professor, Department of Media and Communication, Sungkyunkwan University, corresponding author (hkeum@skku.edu)
****Professor, Department of Communication, University of California-Davis (jaecho@ucdavis.edu)

초록

본 연구는 최근 정보 환경 변화의 특징인 이용자 맞춤화가 시민들의 정치 커뮤니케이션 과정에 미치는 영향이 어떠한지 탐구했다. 2019년 11월 설문 조사(표본 성인 300명)를 통해 분석한 결과, 이용자의 정보 환경 맞춤화는 이용자 자신의 견해와 다른 정보에 대한 우연적 노출보다는 의견을 같이하는 내용에 대한 선택적 노출을 유도하고 정치 사회 이슈에 관한 지식에 대해 부적 효과를 나타냈다. 그러나 정보 환경의 개인화가 정치사회화 변인들과 관련해서 부정적 영향만 있었던 것은 아니고, SNS상의 정치적 표현을 촉진하는 데는 효과적인 긍정적 영향을 보였다. SNS상의 정치적 표현에 대해서는 이용자 맞춤화의 직접적 효과를 발견할 수 있었고 동시에 선택적 노출을 통한 간접 효과 역시 통계적으로 유의미했다. 분석 결과는 정보 환경의 개인화 경향이 선택적 노출만 유도하고 지식을 오히려 저하시키는 역할을 하리라는 것을 암시하기도 하지만, 일단 이용자가 자신이 선호하는 정보를 접하게 되면 표현을 통한 참여 민주주의 과정이 증진될 수 있다는 가능성을 보여주었다.

Abstract

Recent media systems enable users to customize their information environment by selecting channels or content they prefer. With this enhanced selectivity, users tend to increasingly access information about social issues through social networking sites (SNSs) rather than traditional media. Despite the prevalence of information customization among SNS users, the implications of this trend for democratic citizenship remains still contentious. According to the notions of filter bubble and echo chamber, users’ customized information environment may be problematic as it possibly reinforces existing opinions and leads to ideological polarization or segregation. To address this question, the present study empirically examined the effects of information environment customization on the processes of news exposure, knowledge gain, and political expression. Specifically, the present study focused on whether one’s customized information environment is related to different types of information exposure (i.e., selective exposure to pro-attitudinal information vs. incidental exposure to counter-attitudinal information) and how the types of information exposure, in turn, lead to knowledge and opinion expression. Results from a survey with 300 adults demonstrated that customization was positively related to selective exposure to pro-attitudinal information and was negatively related to knowledge about social issues. However, its impact on incidental counter-attitudinal exposure was not statistically significant. It was also found that information environment customization was significantly related to an increase in opinion expression both directly and indirectly through selective exposure. Taken all together, the results of this study suggest that the increase of information environment customization by users has important implications for citizens’ everyday political communication processes and democratic citizenship by encouraging selective exposure and opinion expression while hindering knowledge gain. That is, as the customization of the information environment becomes more popular, users would likely engage in political expressions that are not based on relevant facts and information. In conclusion, the trend of information environment customization may contribute to participatory and expressive political culture primarily via selective exposure. However, at the same time, mere expression of uninformed opinion may add to already contentious and polarizing politics in contemporary democracies. This study is a call for more scholarly discussion and investigation of the changes that the trend of customization of the information environment would bring about.


Keywords: Selective Exposure, Incidental Exposure, Personalization, Customization, Political Expression
키워드: 맞춤설정, 선택적 노출, 우연적 노출, 정치 지식, 정치 표현

Acknowledgments

The first draft of this study is based on Yan Liu’s master’s thesis “The Effects of Customized Information Environments on Knowledge and Expression on SNS” (Sungkyunkwan University, 2020). (본 논문의 초고는 2020년 성균관대학교 유연의 석사학위 논문 ‘정보 환경 맞춤화가 정치 지식과 SNS상의 의견 표현에 미치는 영향’에 근거함.)


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