Distinguishing facts and opinions in newspaper articles: A cross-cultural study between Chinese and Americans

Jing Feng, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine how Chinese and American college students categorized facts and opinions in newspaper articles. The participants included 71 Chinese college students who were attending a big national university in Southwest China and 72 American students recruited from a private university in New York City. The stimulus material was administered through SurveyMonkey, an online survey service. The results indicated that Chinese participants were more likely to categorize statements taken from China Daily as facts. Also, Chinese participants tended to favor statements taken from news articles regarding Program for International Assessment (PISA) scores. As for American participants, there appeared to be consensus in the context of general statements and in the news articles regarding Chinese currency. No agreement was found in the Chinese sample. The results of pattern analysis showed in both cultural groups facts were primarily represented by Pattern 6. As categorizing facts, Chinese participants tended to use Pattern 5 more frequently than their American counterparts in the articles regarding Chinese currency. As categorizing opinions, participants in both cultural groups were more likely to use patterns which included "I agree" (i.e., Pattern 4, 5, 6) than patterns which included "I disagree" (i.e., Pattern 1, 2, 3). Moreover, it was found that Chinese participants were more likely to use a pattern of disagreement than American participants.^

Subject Area

Journalism|Psychology, Social|Education, Educational Psychology|Mass Communications|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Jing Feng, "Distinguishing facts and opinions in newspaper articles: A cross-cultural study between Chinese and Americans" (January 1, 2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3518504.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3518504

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