Third-Person Perception of Television Violence: The Role of Self-Perceived Knowledge

Michael B. Salwen, Michel Dupagne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This study investigated the proposition that self-perceived knowledge or self-expertise is a primary theoretical construct in understanding third-person perception of television violence effects. Consistent with most past research, the findings confirm people's third-person tendencies to attribute greater media effects of television violence on other people than on themselves. As hypothesized, self-perceived knowledge was a stronger predictor of third-person perception than sociodemographic variables (demographics, ideology, and media use). The study also found that self-perceived knowledge was more likely to moderate than mediate the relationship between sociodemographic variables and third-person perception. Whereas a moderator affects the strength of the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable, a mediator explains the relationship between the two variables. In sum, the findings indicate that respondents' judgments of their superior self-perceived knowledge of television violence might be of theoretical significance in third-person effect research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-236
Number of pages26
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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