NMSU researcher explores ‘dark side’ of social media and politics


LAS CRUCES – Do Americans put more stock in what we feel we know rather than actual facts? A New Mexico State University communication studies professor’s recently published study shows the influence of social media on public engagement turns the traditional belief about voter participation on its head.

The study points to increased political participation by uninformed voters, considered the “dark side” of political participation. It finds uninformed voters can actively engage in politics thinking that they know enough about politics and current affairs.

Sangwon Lee, assistant professor in NMSU’s communication studies department, is the lead author of a paper published in the September issue of the journal Human Communication Research titled “Rethinking the Virtuous Circle Hypothesis on Social Media: Subjective versus Objective Knowledge and Political Participation.”



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