Explaining the Diversity Deficit: Value-Trait Consistency in News Exposure and Democratic Citizenship

Dam Hee Kim, Josh Pasek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although scholars consider it important for citizens to seek diverse information to optimize citizenship, a growing body of research suggests that many people predominantly expose themselves to information that confirms their previous beliefs. Using four waves of survey data from an online panel of 2,450 Americans, this study explores a disconnect between information values and practices to identify (1) whether citizens exemplify the diversity-seeking values endorsed in communication scholarship, (2) whether individuals who hold diversity-seeking values enact these values, and (3) whether diversity-seeking values and traits are emblematic of good democratic citizenship. Results suggest that nearly half of respondents either did not hold diversity-seeking values or failed to actualize the values they expressed. Individuals who held diversity-seeking values were more politically knowledgeable and more likely to have voted in 2014, regardless of their diversity-seeking traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-54
Number of pages26
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • diversity deficit
  • diversity-seeking values
  • information-seeking
  • selective exposure
  • traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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