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Intergroup conflict and the media: an experimental study of Greek students after the 2008 riots

Alexia Katsanidou
GESIS, Leibniz
David Hugh-Jones
University of Warwick
Alexia Katsanidou
GESIS, Leibniz
Gerhard Riener
Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena
Open Panel

Abstract

We report a laboratory experiment on Greek students in the context of the December 2008 riots in Greece, after the killing of a 15-year-old student by a policeman. We test whether media reports can affect people’s willingness to harm those in opposing political groups by examining students’ allocations between themselves and others, including police, in modified Dictator games. Exposure to media reports decreased giving to police, but only when choices were private. Laboratory behaviour was correlated with self-reported participation in demonstrations, supporting the external validity of our measure. Media exposure appears to have affected behaviour by different pathways than those proposed in the existing literature, including “spiral of silence” and “frame alignment” theories.