Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship & Information Systems

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Online media is increasingly being used to consume everyday news. However, they might also turn into a venue of selective exposure. Online echo chambers, for instance, are online environments where individuals only expose themselves to information or opinions that support and reinforce their own, ignoring and rejecting competing voices. The issues of echo chambers have drawn a lot of attention in mainstream research and practice because they may lead to polarization of opinions across groups or communities, foster extremism, and be detrimental to democracy. Prior research has only begun to test the surface of the phenomena. This dissertation, which consists of three essays, seeks to fill this knowledge gap by developing a thorough understanding of echo chambers. First, we present a hermeneutic analysis of the literature review and propose a model to help distinguish between information cocoons and echo chambers. We also developed a process model that highlights the mechanisms of echo chambers. Secondly, we examine qualitatively the phenomenon of echo chambers. We extended the framework from essay 1 by highlighting four causal conditions of echo chambers and three different types of perceptions that users experienced towards echo chambers. Lastly, we concentrate on the unique aspects of users’ uses and gratification and investigate their implications for the degree to which echo chamber is experienced by users via a quantitative analysis. Overall, this dissertation paints a detailed picture of the echo chamber effect in the online media context. Our research also indicates that users have a more favorable opinion of echo chambers and believe they can be beneficial and boost welfare. This dissertation contributes to the body of knowledge on information systems and online media research and broadens understanding of the effect with insights into the experiences, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of echo chamber participants.

Date

9-19-2022

Committee Chair

Schwarz, Andrew

Available for download on Saturday, September 01, 2029

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