attitudes


The power of pictures: Visual bias in the news

Imagery within media stories has a powerful effect on the way a reader thinks about a particular topic. This column highlights the strength of the effect, presenting evidence from the United States. Readers’ views on a range of topics – from police budgets to pandemic management – are highly sensitive to the pictures that accompany news stories. People also tend to react more extremely to images that directly confirm or challenge their pre-existing opinions, shining new light on the risk of political polarisation.