chapter  4
57 Pages

Exemplification Effects of the News

T he news media, as they provide quantitative information in the form of general or specific base-rate information about phenomena, obviously attempt to influence the perception of quantitative aspects of these phenomena. Less obvious is that the provision of a few case descriptions may have a similar, and on occasion even stronger, influence on the perception of quantitative manifestations-although this influence may come about inadvertently. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, the influence of news reports, mostly composites of base-rate information and exemplars, on the recipients' perception of quantitative aspects of phenomena has been explored in numerous investigations.