Not Being Accurate Is Not Quite the Same as Being Inaccurate: Variations in Reported (in)Accuracy of Perceptions of Political Views of Network Members Due to Uncertainty

William P. Eveland,, Hyunjin Song, Myiah J. Hutchens, Lindsey Clark Levitan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most existing evidence suggests that accuracy in perceptions of political preferences within communication networks is reasonably high, but closer examination suggests this may not be true. Perceptions may be accurate, inaccurate, or respondents may offer no perceptions to evaluate for accuracy due to uncertainty. We re-analyze data from several published studies to evaluate whether different treatments of “don’t know” (DK) and similar ambiguous responses matters when evaluating accuracy levels. It does, sometimes leading to dramatically altered conclusions regarding accuracy. We also reanalyze recent data to evaluate the individual and group-level factors (with an emphasis on communication and homophily) that lead to such DK responses, and consider the implications of the treatment of DK responses for inferences about the role of communication in producing truly accurate perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalCommunication Methods and Measures
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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