Is social optimism a condition of trust in news media?
The goal of the research is to scrutinize social optimism as a factor of prophylaxis and overcoming the consequences of media traumatization.
The model of dispositional social optimism is constituted as the basis of research. The citizenship activity of a person is principal in the estimation of dispositional social optimism.
The hypothesis concerns the connection between mediatized social optimism and pessimism as patterns of interaction with media and readiness for citizenship activity of resistance and trust in news media.
In order to estimate social optimism in the media context, we used the author’s questionnaire of mediatized social optimism which was constructed on the basis of the LOT-R test.
“Trust in news media” scale was constructed on the basis of media skepticism towards news media questionnaire by A. Maksl, S. Ashley, S. Craft. “Citizenship activity of resistance” scale corresponds Polish questionnaire of citizenship behavior by A. M. Zalewska and B. Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz.
The scale of “Media creativity” which is considered as the highest form of media activity contains the following sub-scales: “Creation of personal media content”, “Dissemination of personal media content” and “Motivation of media creativity”.
The research was conducted as a part of an all-Ukrainian experiment “Standardization of socio-psychological model of mass media education implementation in Ukrainian educational practice” (1439 high school pupils from all over Ukraine). It showed significant differences in attitudes to media and in citizenship activity of resistance among “optimists” and “pessimists”.
The connection between scales “Trust in news media” and “Mediatized social optimism” was substantiated (r=0,363, p≤0,01).
Citizenship activity of resistance and trust in news media is significantly different among people with different levels of mediatized social optimism.
People with a high level of mediatized social optimist are more apt to trust in news media than others. They also demonstrate the highest citizenship activity of resistance.
People with a high level of mediatized social pessimism trust in mass media less than optimists though pessimists are ready to become a “moving force” for social changes both in information space and in reality.
A high level of media creativity is a predictor for higher trust in news media and readiness for citizenship activity.
Results of the research deepen understanding of the phenomenon of social optimism in the information society, confirm its connection with citizenship activity.
Perspectives for further research cover answering questions regarding consequences of trust in news media formation which can lead to enhancement of social polarization and decrease in the criticality of media-content perception.