Peripheral elaboration model: The impact of incidental news exposure on political participation

Saif Shahin, Magdalena Saldaña, Homero Gil de Zúñiga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study places the “cognitive elaboration model” on news gathering and political behavior within the dual-processing “elaboration likelihood model” to derive hypotheses about the effects of incidental news exposure and tests them using two-wave panel data. Results indicate incidental news exposure predicts online participation but not offline participation – underlining the importance of differentiating between political behaviors in the two environments. The key finding, however, is that news elaboration mediates the positive relationship between incidental exposure and political participation, which is theorized as taking place through the peripheral route of elaboration – as opposed to intentional exposure, which engages the central route.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-163
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Incidental Exposure
  • Social Media
  • Political Participation
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model
  • Cognitive Elaboration Model


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