Surprisingly, TTP have seldom been linked to exemplification effects.
Particularly, third-person effects and exemplification effects are both based on the assumption of an irrational audience (Andsager & White, 2007): it is logically impossible that everyone is right when assuming that the media have a stronger negative effect on other people.
Exemplification and Third-Person Effects on Perceptions of the Climate of Opinion
So far, it has been argued that there are similarities, which are crucial for possible interaction effects, between exemplification effects and TPP.
With respect to information processing, the underlying mechanisms of exemplification effects and TPP can both be regarded as heuristic judgments of majority distributions (see Tversky & Kahneman, 1974).
With regard to the generalization of given information to public opinion, exemplification effects are mostly interpreted as a heuristic fallacy (Gilovich, Griffin, & Kahneman, 2002): recipients are thought to be more likely to perform their assessment of the climate of opinion based on vivid, more easily processed exemplars, rather than on more valid yet more complex and abstract base-rate information.
So far, empirical studies have only taken the reverse relationship between exemplification effects and presumed media influences into account.
This article is based on the similarities between exemplification effects and the theoretical assumptions of TPP (Davison, 1983; Xu & Gonzenbach, 2008).
The objective of this study is to empirically test the assumption that exemplification effects are moderated by TPP and to discuss the results against the background of existing exemplification research.
The novelty this study adds to existing exemplification research is to examine the influence of TPP on exemplification effects.
Because TPP result from the difference between presumed message effects on self and others, it is conceivable that TPP might also affect recipients" personal opinion and intended behaviors--and, therefore, moderate exemplification effects on these two levels.