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Journal Article

Citation

Young JR. Am. Behav. Sci. 2003; 46(12): 1673-1695.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2003, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0002764203254622

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

The present research explored the implications of fear for the perceived importance of news stories. It was predicted that television news stories subjectively perceived as more fearful would be considered as more important. Participants were put in the role of a television news editor and asked to evaluate a set of promotional news clips for an evening news broadcast. Participants evaluated all of the clips to determine the degree of unpleasantness and impact they associated with the issue in each clip. Results indicated that the issues presented in the news clips selected as more important were perceived as more noxious, and more likely to have a personal impact, than were the clips not selected. In addition, there was no difference in prior familiarity between the issues mentioned in the selected clips versus those mentioned in the clips not selected. Implications of these results for a model of news perception based on evolutionary influences are discussed.

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