Stereotypes and sexism? Effects of gender, topic, and user comments on journalists' credibility
Gendered social roles raise assumptions about what female and male journalists ought to do. Prior studies suggest that covering counterstereotypical topics may decrease journalists' source and their work's message credibility. Pertaining to prior studies on heuristic cues for credibility evaluation, user comments have been shown to serve as corrective, both positively and negatively affecting the perception of accompanying content. In a pre-registered online survey with 417 German participants, we employed a 3 (author: female, male, computer) × 2 (topic: stereotypically masculine, feminine) × 2 (comments: sexist, non-sexist) experimental design to investigate source and message credibility. Findings do not show differences in gender perception but between human authors (female or male) and a computer (control group). Covering counter-stereotypical topics indicates slightly less credibility for men and women if presented with non-sexist comments. In turn, sexist comments lead to slightly higher credibility, suggesting more elaborate engagement with sexism-affected content.
Haim, M. & Maurus, K. (2021). Stereotypes and sexism? Effects of gender, topic, and user comments on journalists' credibility. Journalism, Advance Online Publication. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14648849211063994 (content_copy)