||One’s political opinion and action may possibly be influenced by the majority of certain communities. In a study, Diana C. Mutz (2002) found the condition that network of political discussion, the higher heterogeneity the community is, the lower the voting participation is. However, does the model apply to Taiwan? How well does it explain Taiwanese voters’ vote intension and participation?|
Studies also suggest that the mass media also played an important role. People may enhance their political beliefs by selectively watching news programs. I make a further corollary: The level of network heterogeneity matters little when individuals conduct “selective exposure.”
In order to verify my hypotheses, I conduct a two-stage study. The first-stage data came from a face-to-face survey project TEDS2012 , while the second, from a web survey provided by smilepoll.tw. The data are used for explaining whether heterogeneity of network of political discussion and selective exposure towards media affect the vote intention and participation.
The results show that: people in the network with high heterogeneity are less likely to vote, especially the willingness to take part in the pre-election voting. Mutz study was confirmed, and this study supplements it with selective exposure perspective and evidence. The results also shows that the "selective exposure" plays a moderation role. It has an inhibiting effect between network heterogeneity of political discussion and the vote participation.
As there haven’t had any empirical evidence by using the selective exposure perspective as a solution to explain the connection between network heterogeneity and voting behavior. Therefore, this study contributes the initial step of this inquiry but demands further studies for more clear pictures.