Consequences of third-person perception in support of press restrictions in the O. J. Simpson trial

Michael B. Salwen, Paul D. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations


A nationwide telephone survey about the O. J. Simpson trial affirmed the third-person effect perceptual-bias hypothesis that people perceive news media coverage to exert greater influence on other people than on themselves. The study did not indicate an association between third-person perception and support for restrictions on press coverage of the trial. The findings suggested that respondents' opinions about Simpson's guilt interacted with the third-person effect and that perceptual bias remains a fruitful, although complex, predictor of support for press restrictions. It was suggested that people perceive issues as legitimate or illegitimate topics of public discourse, and that issue legitimacy may be associated with willingness to support press restrictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-78
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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