Surprise! Blog Readers Read Blogs They Already Agree With

The political scientists at the Monkey Cage just published a working paper about political blog readers that will surely stroke some egos. “Political blog readers are, unsurprisingly, more educated, more partisan, and more interested in politics,” write the researchers.

Just because readers are smart and curious, though, doesn’t mean they’re trolling for meaningful debate. Instead of engaging ideas across partisan lines, researchers found that readers stick to blogs on their side of the political spectrum, preferring “comforting cocoons of cognitive consonance” over the dissent and debate that characterize meaningful political deliberation. Researchers did find that left-wing blog readers participate in politics more than their right-wing counterparts, leading them to conjecture that “left-wing blogs have more fully embraced the tasks of social movements, thereby seeking to mobilize their readers.”

Read the full paper here.

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