The value of the third-person effect in theory building

Tae Hyun Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The third-person effect sheds light on the self-other discrepancy in perceived media effects on subsequent behavioral consequences. Despite the practical impetus and growing theoretical interest in the third-person effect, very little attention has been given to evaluating its value and efficacy for a more rigorous theory construction. The current research embraces a holistic approach to assess the worth of the third-person effect in theory building based on the six criteria for the evaluation of theory: explanatory power, predictive power, heuristic value, parsimony, testability, and internal consistency. Building on the discussion of its theoretical merits and limitations, new agendas for the third-person effect research are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-86
Number of pages13
JournalReview of Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 National Communication Association.


  • Censorship
  • Middle-range theory
  • Perceived media influence
  • Self-other discrepancy
  • Theory construction
  • Third-person effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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