Measuring selective exposure in mock website experiments: A simple, free, and open-source solution

The mock website paradigm has been established as a methodological standard for experimental selective exposure research. To date, despite the amount of empirical research utilizing mock website experiments, no openly accessible practical implementations tailored to the needs of communication scholars exist. In this paper, we first review extant implementations of mock website experiments in selective exposure research and outline the methodological shortcomings. We then outline a procedure to conduct mock website experiments that addresses these shortcomings using only freely available software and that does not restrict participants to specific devices nor require additional software to be installed. Additionally, it can be employed and easily adapted without further programming knowledge as all scripts are published open-source on GitHub. We also demonstrate an application of the procedure by outlining a study on selective exposure to search engine content (N = 1,187). Further applications and limitations of the procedure are discussed.


Unkel, J. (2019). Measuring selective exposure in mock website experiments: A simple, free, and open-source solution. Communication Methods and Measures. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/19312458.2019.1708284