Exemplar Democracy

When reporting about social problems, the media typically use exemplars i.e. the narrative of a concrete person to illustrate the broader issue. Exemplars can make otherwise complex political issues accessible and interesting to people. Yet, they can also provide an extreme perspective which triggers (1) factual misperceptions in the mass public and (2) biases people’s democratic responsibility attributions of whether the government or the individual is to blame for the problem.

The EXDEM project seeks to understand:

  1. Why are some types of media exemplars so powerful in shaping factual misperceptions and responsibility attributions in the mass public while others are uninfluential?
  2. How can the effects of powerful but unrepresentative exemplars be corrected to combat misinformation in the mass public?

Job opening

2.5-year postdoc with focus on media exposure, misinformation, and public opinion
Starting on 1 March 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter subject to mutual agreement. Application deadline: 10 November 2021.

The EXDEM project is led by Associate Professor of Political Science Lene Aarøe and funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.