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Mind over matter: how biased perceptions of political knowledge influence selection and evaluation of political YouTube channels

Heeseung Yu (Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Yuhosua Ryoo (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)
Eunkyoung Han (Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

232

Abstract

Purpose

In the face of increasing political polarization worldwide, this study explores whether people create biased perceptions of political knowledge and how this affects their selection and evaluation of political content on YouTube.

Design/methodology/approach

For this study, an online experiment was conducted with 441 panels of South Korean respondents. In the first phase, participants answered 10 questions designed to capture their level of objective political knowledge, and for each question, they indicated whether they had responded to that question correctly as a means of measuring their subjective political knowledge. In the second phase, two types of YouTube thumbnails were presented to represent progressive and conservative claims on two controversial political issues, and participants rated and selected the content they would like to see.

Findings

Participants with low political knowledge perceived their knowledge as more than it really was. In contrast, participants with high political knowledge perceived their political knowledge as less than it really was. This biased perception of political knowledge influences respondents' choice and evaluation of political YouTube channel videos.

Originality/value

At a time when political polarization is increasing around the world, this study sought to explore how perceptions of political knowledge differ from actual political knowledge by applying the Dunning-Kruger effect. The authors also used political YouTube channels, whose role in forming public opinion and political influence is rapidly growing, to study the behavior and attitudes of a group of Korean respondents in the media according to their actual and perceived level of political literacy.

Keywords

Citation

Yu, H., Ryoo, Y. and Han, E. (2023), "Mind over matter: how biased perceptions of political knowledge influence selection and evaluation of political YouTube channels", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-09-2021-0677

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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