Publications by Year: 2017

Runa Falck Langaas. 2017. “New Policies, Old Attitudes? - Discrimination against Roma in Norway.” University of Bergen, Department of Comparative Politics. Download from UiB Abstract
Norway has a long history of discrimination against a group of Roma, namely the Tater/Romani people. In 1998, the Norwegian authorities officially apologised for the way in which the Tater/Romani people had been treated. A few years later, another group of Roma started coming to Norway from Eastern Europe to make a living through begging. By the time these individuals came to Norway laws against discrimination were in place, but we have seen many examples of hateful speech or acts directed against Roma people. The research question of this thesis is: To what extent do Norwegian citizens’ attitudes towards Roma reflect the ideals embedded in the laws against discrimination? To answer this question, I use secondary literature to examine the history of Roma and antiziganism in Norway. I also document the political efforts that have been made to limit discrimination in Norway. I then discuss theories on why one would think the ideals of the anti-discrimination laws have been met. I use survey experiments to examine attitudes towards immigrant Roma and find that despite the tremendous political change described in the first part of the thesis, there is not equal treatment of the Roma minority in Norway today.

Dag Arne Christensen and Jacob Aars. 2017. “Nordmenns holdninger til telefonavlytting: Resultater fra et surveyeksperiment.” Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning, 58, 2, Pp. 191-209. Read here Abstract

One of the basic functions of the state is to provide security for its citizens, with mitigating fear an important element of counter-terrorist policies. Policies like this may in turn reflect citizens' psychological reactions to terrorist events. Terrorism often leads to increased intolerance towards groups perceived as «different». Here, we ask whether people’s perceptions of the use of wiretapping differ depending on who the target of these measures is. For example, do citizens differ clearly between radical Muslims and Muslims in general, or has fear of terror contributed to a general distrust of Norwegian Muslims? We also ask why some are ready to give the police leeway in using secret methods, while others are reluctant. In order to answer these questions, we conducted a survey experiment and found that the population's support is highly dependent on the target group of the portended wiretap. However, although the respondents’ attitudes are sensitive to exposure to target groups, our study rejects the assumption that fear of terrorism has led to low tolerance towards Muslims in general. Finally, citizens' willingness to allow wiretapping is dependent on the characteristics of the inhabitants themselves.

Keywords: Terrorism, surveillance, privacy, group thinking, survey experiment

Staten har en oppgave i å skape trygghet for innbyggerne. Det å avdempe frykt er et viktig element i antiterrorpolitikken, og denne politikken kan i sin tur reflektere innbyggernes psykologiske reaksjoner på terrorhendelser. Forskning, spesielt fra USA, viser at terrorfrykt er assosiert med økt intoleranse og sterke fordommer overfor grupper som oppfattes som «annerledes». Med dette som utgangspunkt spør vi om nordmenn setter grensen for bruk av telefonavlytting forskjellig, avhengig av hvem som er målgruppen for slik avlytting. For eksempel, skiller innbyggerne tydelig mellom radikale muslimer og muslimer generelt, eller har terrorfrykten bidratt til en generell mistro mot norske muslimer? Vi spør også hvorfor noen er tilbøyelige til å gi Politiets Sikkerhetstjeneste (PST) et stort handlingsrom, mens andre er motstandere. Disse spørsmålene besvares med bakgrunn i et surveyeksperiment gjennomført høsten 2015. Vi finner at hvilke grupper PST ønsker å bruke telefonavlytting overfor, har stor betydning for befolkningens støtte til slik avlytting. Våre resultater tyder derimot ikke på at terrorfrykt gir lavere toleranse overfor muslimer som gruppe. Innbyggernes villighet til å gi PST det PST ønsker er også i høy grad betinget av kjennetegn ved innbyggerne selv.

Nøkkelord: Terrorisme, overvåking, personvern, gruppekategorisering, surveyeksperiment

Lars Erik Berntzen, Lise Bjånesøy, and Elisabeth Ivarsflaten. 2017. “Patterns of Legitimacy on the Far Right”.
Working paper 2017:4
Erik Knudsen, Mikael P Johannesson, and Sveinung Arnesen. 2017. “Selective exposure to news cues: Towards a generic approach to selective exposure research.”. Abstract

This study argues for a generic approach to selective exposure research. Empirically, we dismantle the relative importance of three different forms of selective exposure to like-minded political news that has dominated the communication literature: message cues, party cues and source cues. In a uniquely designed conjoint experiment, a large probability-based panel of Norwegian citizens was faced with news headline choices, randomly varying several different factors simultaneously. We not only show that the effects are in line with previous research but also, more importantly, that these effects are additive and distinct effects that prevail when three known countervailing forces are accounted for. We conclude that scholars should move towards a more generic and less country specific approach to selective exposure research.

Working paper 2017:6
Jan Fredrik Hovden and Hallvard Moe. 2017. “A sociocultural approach to study public connection across and beyond media: The example of Norway.” Convergence, 23, 4, Pp. 391-408. Download article here
Linn Magritt Haugen Skotnes Venås. 2017. “Tillit til systemet. Muligheten til å ekskludere uærlige aktører i et marked. En eksperimentell undersøkelse..” University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
Venås: Master thesis
Little is known about the measurement quality of questions in web surveys, even if, this information is crucial to design better questionnaires and to correct for measurement errors in substantive analyses. This paper aims to cover this gap by answering the following four objectives.
The first objective, is to evaluate the measurement quality of a set of survey questions from two Multitrait-Multimethod (MTMM) experiments implemented in the 5th wave of the Norwegian Citizen Panel ; one of the few probability-based online panels existing at this day. Each experiment is designed to evaluate three different formulations of the response scale for the topics: political satisfaction and trust in the institutions. The second objective is to predict the measurement quality of these questions by its design characteristics, using the software Survey Quality Predictor (SQP). The third, is to compare the quality of the different formulations of the response scale used. The fourth, is to compare both the MTMM and the SQP approaches to assess whether both can lead to similar results when evaluating web survey questions.
Overall, measurements’ quality is quite high (between 0.60 and 0.89), and similar between the estimates obtained from the MTMM experiments and the SQP predictions. On the one hand, we conclude that when comparing the different scales, the horizontal 11-point scale with 2 fixed reference points and ordered from negative to positive, usually, provides the highest quality. On the other hand, we conclude that SQP can provide as accurate quality predictions as MTMM can estimate the quality for web survey questions. Given that each approach has its advantages and limitations, when possible we recommend using both to correct for measurement errors, as kind of sensitivity analysis.

Declining revenues from offline and online ads has led publishers to pursue new avenues, such as native advertising: camouflaging ads as news. Critics of native advertising claim that this form of advertising blurs the boundaries between editorial and commercial content, and can reduce the audiences’ trust in editorial content. However, little research has assessed the possible effects of native ads on audiences’ trust in news. With an experimental design embedded in an online survey (N = 733) representative of the Norwegian population, this study explores the consequences of political native advertising for citizens’ trust in political news. This article discusses how political native advertising poses a challenge to the boundary between journalism and advertising as well as the boundary between journalism and powerful elites. Our study examines (1) how prominently native advertisements should be labelled in order for readers to recognize them as advertising content and (2) whether exposure to such ads reduces readers’ trust in political news. Our most important finding shows that when explicitly labelled, native advertising by political parties can reduce people’s trust in political news.

Sveinung Arnesen, Troy Saghaug Broderstad, Mikael P Johannesson, and Jonas Linde. 2017. “The Wiggle Room of Legitimacy in Democratic Decisions: The Case of Referendums.”.
Working paper 2017:5