Is the news making us unhappy? The influence of daily news exposure on emotional states

Natascha de Hoog*, Peter Verboon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    There is evidence that exposure to negative news is making people feel bad, but not much is known about why this only affects some people or whether this also applies to everyday news exposure. This study examined the direct and indirect effects of daily news exposure on people's affective states. Using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), 63 respondents (24 men and 39 women) reported their news exposure and affective states five times a day for 10 days. In addition, personal relevance of the news and personality characteristics, neuroticism and extraversion, were assessed. Results showed that negative news perceptions were related to more negative affect and less positive affect, and these effects were moderated by personal relevance, but not personality characteristics. The implications of these outcomes are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-173
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
    Volume111
    Issue number2
    Early online date21 Mar 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2020

    Keywords

    • daily news
    • negative affect
    • personal relevance
    • positive affect

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