Redefining My Research — Week 5

Apr 13, 2020

I hope everyone is doing well!

Through this past week, I have made some exciting developments that I must share with you all. I have finally narrowed down my point of research to a focal point: the perception of political polarization of news by consumers via the selection of syntax and diction by the news media. 

Now that I have established this big idea as the focus of my research, I’ll be able to proceed with the experiments I plan on conducting quickly. I’ll go into more detail next week, but here’s a general idea of what I seek to analyze:

  1. The specific emotions and takeaways triggered by precise diction and syntax used by a news media outlet on a reader (e.g., “removed from high-ranking position” versus “amicably parted ways”)
  2. The effect on a reader’s trust of a news outlet based on the outlet’s usage of particular diction and syntax (e.g., “climate crisis” versus “fabricated environmental hoax”)

In addendum to point two, I believe it would also be enlightening if I could see where the reader thinks the article he/she read is from. For example, if the news article is in direct opposition to fracking, perhaps the reader will believe that there is a higher possibility that the report came from a left-leaning outlet.

It is some food for thought that I have yet to digest. The next challenge comes with recruiting enough volunteers for a large enough sample pool!



4 Replies to “Redefining My Research — Week 5”

  1. Kareena K. says:

    Narrowing down your research is a great big step! I am greatly interested to what you find as many people don’t actually consider where their articles are coming from.

    1. Charles T. says:

      Thanks! I’m glad to see my research intrigues you.

  2. Ethan H. says:

    Great progress!
    Based on an article I found (, I’m hypothesizing that the largest factor contributing to a person’s perception of a news outlet — and his emotions/trust towards it — is that person’s political affiliation. What factors do you think will have the biggest impact?
    Looking forward to seeing the results of your project!

    1. Charles T. says:

      Agreed. Of course there will be established identities to any experiment. These identities of respondents will be accurately reflected within the survey. I’m primarily interested in seeing what emotions and cemented beliefs the respondent experiences through the exposure of a news article. Furthermore, I seek to figure out which news outlet respondents believe it’s from.

      As a result, the factor that I believe is most influential is diction. When you’re presented an unknown article, you aren’t starting with the biases of a news media outlet or journalist. Instead, you have to peruse the article yourself to decipher the narrative being presented. I think the best way to decode an article is to examine the diction of an article, especially if it is politically loaded!

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