Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Ellithorpe, M. E., Holbert, R. L., & Palmer-Wackerly, A. L. (2013). Procrastination and the shifting political media environment: An experimental study of media choice affecting a democratic outcome. Communication Studies, 64 (5), 561-578. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2013.832692


Copyright © 2013 Central States Communication Association; published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


The shifting media environment is expected to have a variety of effects on political knowledge and behavior. An experimental study was conducted to assess the influence of media environment on news consumption, perceptions of media experience quality, and success on a political outcome. In addition, procrastination is introduced as a potentially important individual-difference variable with assessments offered for both its main effects and its ability to moderate the influence of media environment. Media environment complexity predicted lower news use and higher success on our political outcome. Procrastination’s effect was on media experience perceptions and a media environment-by-procrastination interaction on this portion of the hypothesized model. These outcomes then went on to predict success on a task analogous to democratic participation.