Communication Technology 2015 Abstracts

Open Competition
The Social Correlates of Attitudes toward Online Emotional and Sexual Satisfaction • Cassandra Alexopoulos, University of California Davis; Bernard Schissel •
This study examines gender, age, and relationship-status differences in online infidelity within romantic relationships. Previous research of this nature has rather narrowly focused on jealousy, particularly of offline behaviors. Online infidelity deserves more research attention because of the ubiquity of online interaction, because Internet dating has become so popular, and because cultural conceptions of infidelity in relation to online communication are largely unexplored. The study uses Young et al.’s (2000) ACE Model of anonymity, convenience, and escape to determine which aspects of online relationships are most appealing to men and women and the degree to which such acts are considered acceptable. Three hundred and ninety-eight students completed an online survey to define cheating behaviors and reasons for seeking an online partner. The results indicate that there is a significant difference between how men and women define cheating and how they evaluate the morality of online infidelity although there is a general appreciation for the Internet as a vehicle for developing a relationship.

How much is your Facebook account worth? The monetary value of Facebook as a function of its uses and gratifications using the second-price auction technique • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Sean Cash; Carie Cunningham, Michigan State University; Chen Lou, Michigan State University • With 1.32 billion users, Facebook is the most popular social networking site (SNS,, 2014). The exponential growth in the number of users, time spent on the site, and functionality make it important to investigate its value to its users. This is also important in light of Facebook’s holding of its initial public offering (IPO) in mid 2012. The current study applies the second-price auction approach to determine the monetary value of Facebook. Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted using a student sample, a community sample, and a sample of U.S.-based Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) workers was conducted to explore the way individuals attach monetary value to non-materialistic telecommunication goods; namely their Facebook account. The study also explored the ways in which the motivations to use Facebook and its uses can predict the monetary value respondents attached to their Facebook accounts. Results showed that none of the Facebook motivations predicted Facebook monetary value, while information sharing, self-expression, medium appeal, and convenience predicted the value of Facebook for the community sample, and entertainment and passing time significantly predicted the Facebook value for the MTurk sample. As for the Facebook use measures, Findings showed that for students, the number of actual friends that they have on Facebook mattered in terms of predicting the value of Facebook, while the intensity of using Facebook was a significant predictor of Facebook’s value for the MTurk sample respondents.

Private Searchers: Factors that Affect Search Engine Privacy Concerns • Nicole Schwegman; Valerie Barker, SDSU; David Dozier • An online survey (N = 816) investigated antecedents to privacy concerns among search engine users: search engine credibility, search engine self-efficacy, and key demographics. Findings indicated that search engine credibility negatively predicted privacy concerns. Search engine credibility also acted as a moderator — when perceived credibility is low, self-efficacy predicts higher privacy concerns. These findings are discussed in light of other research that emphasizes users’ privacy concerns, but also simultaneous acceptance of endemic privacy invasions.

Increasing Individualism in Youth Created Music Videos on YouTube (2007-2013) • Steven Kendrat; Charisse L’Pree Corsbie-Massay, Syracuse University • Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has provided a unique venue for anyone to share content and comment on the content of others, resulting in more user generated content (UGC), especially among teens. The current longitudinal trend study analyzes demographic, production, and narrative trends in the emerging genre of youth created music videos using a sample of 100 videos uploaded to YouTube in 2007 and 2013. Compared to videos posted in 2007, youth created music videos posted in 2013 featured younger and less diverse casts, and more complicated editing techniques; they were also more likely to feature single actors and celebrate the self, mimicking the recent emergence of selfie culture. These findings are discussed with respect to YouTube’s role in reducing barriers to entry and providing a virtual space for youth oriented content communities that thrive on engagement and social networking as strategies of identity development.

Big Data and Political Social Networks: Introducing Audience Diversity and Communication Connector Bridging Measures in Social Network Theory • Axel Maireder; Brian Weeks, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Stephan Schlögl • Social media have changed the way citizens, journalists, institutions, and activists communicate about social and political issues. However, questions remain about how information is diffused through these networks and the degree to which each of these actors are influential in communicating information. In this study we introduce two novel social network measures of connection and information diffusion that help shed light on patterns of political communication online. The Audience Diversity Score assesses the diversity of a particular actor’s followers and identifies which actors reach different publics with their messages. The Communication Connector Bridging Score highlights the most influential actors in the network who are potentially able to connect different spheres of communication through their information diffusion. We apply and discuss these measures using Twitter data from the discussion regarding The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Europe. Our results provide unique insights into the role various actors play in diffusing political information in online social networks.

Reliable Recommenders and Untrustworthy Authors? The Varying Effects of Crowd as Source on Perceptions of Online Health Information • Yan Huang, The Pennsylvania State University; Haiyan Jia, The Pennsylvania State University • Users may play two distinct roles as the source of a crowdsourcing website: recommenders and authors. Correspondingly, number of voters and co-authors as two interface cues highlight the different ways and levels of user participation in content generation. In a health context, this study aims to understand the varying effects of the two interface cues on users’ content and website perceptions. Findings from a 2 (Number of voters: low vs. high) × 2 (Number of co- authors: low vs. high) × 2 (scientific vs. non-scientific message) between-subjects online experiment (N = 177) showed that while number of voters elicited perception of content credibility and behavioral intentions toward the message, the effect of number of co-authors was moderated by message style. Moreover, while the effect of number of voters was explained by bandwagon perception, the interaction effect between number of co-authors and message style was mediated by perceived controversy. In addition, number of voters predicted website perceptions, whereas number of co-authors did not.

Digital Subscribers’ Engagement with a Legacy Newspaper Company’s Mobile Content • Jacqueline Incollingo, Rider University • Online survey results (n=632) demonstrate a critical nexus between mobility and enhanced user engagement and enjoyment: digital news subscribers who rely on tablets or smartphones for news had statistically significant higher levels of both engagement and enjoyment, in comparison to digital subscribers who primarily use desktop or laptops computers for news. In addition, participants most at ease with technology tended to prefer mobile devices for news, and reported statistically significant higher levels of both engagement and enjoyment. Opportunities for interactivity, on the other hand, did not increase engagement with the digital news content offered by a metropolitan, legacy media organization.

Generational Differences in Online Safety Perceptions, Knowledge and Practices • Mengtian Jiang, Michigan State University; Hsin-yi Sandy Tsai; Shelia R. Cotten, Michigan State University; Nora Rifon; Robert LaRose, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • The percentage of adults going online has stabilized around 87%. Greater attention is needed as to how different generational groups perceive and maintain their online safety and privacy. Using data from generation specific focus groups, we compare and contrast how three generational groups perceive and practice online safety and privacy protections: SGI (born 1945 or earlier), older baby boomers (1946 – 1954), and Millennials (1977 – 1992). Results and tailored approaches are discussed to reach different generations.

It’s all about Relatedness: Social Media Engagement— A Self Determination Framework • M. Laeeq Khan, American University of Ras al Khaimah • Individuals are likely to engage on social media when they feel self-determined to do so based on three key factors: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Through a survey of students at a large Midwestern university (n=745) this study found that: social media self-efficacy positively predicts customer engagement in the form of sharing on Facebook brand pages, and customer relationship with the brand and community predict symbolic customer engagement in terms of liking, commenting and sharing.

Editing the self on Facebook: Relationship motivation, network characteristics, and perception of others’ self-presentations • Cheonsoo Kim; Emily Metzgar • Although many people use social networking services (SNS) for relationship management, little is known about the role of user’s relationship motivation in self-presentation on SNS. This study aims to fill the gap in our knowledge about online self-presentation with particular attention to relationship motivation for SNS use. Drawing on original national survey data from the United States, this study investigated reasons for the difference between online and offline self on Facebook, using relationship motivation, network characteristics, and perception of others’ self-presentations as predictors. Findings showed that the larger the size of a Facebook user’s network, the less difference there was between online and offline self. The number of close friends in users’ networks was positively, albeit marginally, related to the difference between selves. The stronger one’s belief in the honesty of others’ self-presentations, the greater the difference between one’s online and offline self. Interestingly, users’ belief in the honesty of others’ self-presentations led to a greater difference between selves for Facebook users without relationship motivation, but it had almost no effects for those with relationship motivation. The implications of the study are discussed.

Engaging users in online news participation: The role of normative social cues in social media • Jiyoun Kim • Using the controversial issue of nuclear energy as a case study, this study demonstrates what motivates media users to participate in the process of engagement with news content (i.e., sharing and endorsing online news about a specific issue) in online space. Based on my findings, normative social cues play a significant role in online news content engagement intention, but that this influence can differ depending on personal traits.

Media Substitution or Complementarity between TV and the Internet: A Comparison of Niche Breadth, Overlap, and Superiority Using Metered Data • Su Jung Kim, Iowa State University; Lijing Gao; Jay Newell, Iowa State University • Previous research on media substitution between television and the Internet has produced inconsistent results. This study examines this topic from the functional displacement approach and the niche theory. Using Nielsen Korea’s TV-Internet Convergence Panel data that provide electronically recorded media use measures and the same respondents’ information from a survey, this study analyzes the perceptions of niche breadth, niche overlap, and superiority between television and the Internet and their influence on Internet’s substation of television. The findings reveal that television and the Internet are seen as a functional equivalent, but the Internet has not become a complete substitute of television. This study also touches upon the issue of simultaneous media use, which provides an alternative explanation to media substitution.

Facebook Paradox: A Social Network Service That Reduces Perceived Social Support? • Eun-Ju Lee, Seoul National University; Eugene Cho • A web-based survey (N = 316) examined how other-directed Facebook use, characterized by the sensitivity to external evaluations as well as the desire for social validation, affects users’ perceived social support. As predicted, those with higher fear of isolation were more likely to engage in other-directed Facebook use, regulating their self-expression to garner social approval (i.e., impression management) and closely monitoring others’ activities for self-evaluation (i.e., social comparison). Impression management, in turn, lowered perceived social support among heavy Facebook users, with no corresponding effect for light users. By contrast, social comparison had no significant effect on social support, highlighting the difference between message construction and message consumption. Results suggest that other-centered self-presentation on a friend-making site driven by the desire for social connection may paradoxically diminish perceived social support among intense Facebook users.

@JunckerEU vs. @MartinSchulz: How leading candidates in the 2014 European Parliament Elections campaigned on Twitter • Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Shana Meganck; Vivian Medina-Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University • Twitter has become a valuable tool both for politicians trying to monitor conversations and communicate with constituents as well as for publics interested in discussing and engaging on political matters. This is the first study to research Twitter use during the 2014 European Parliament Elections. Twitter posts by the two main candidates in the elections, Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, were comparatively analyzed with specific emphasis on frequency of Twitter use, content of tweets and interaction levels. Results showed that unlike previous research studies on Twitter use by politicians, the candidate that used Twitter less often and used the interactive characteristics of Twitter less frequently won the election. However, the winning candidate focused significantly more on specific topics and functions of relevance to European voters, such as immigration and the targeting of specific EU countries.

User Ratings of Yelp Reviews: A Big Data Analysis Approach • Hyunjin Seo, University of Kansas; Fengjun Li; Jeongsub Lim; Roseann Pluretti, The University of Kansas; Sreenivas Vekapu; Hao Xue • Online customer review platforms are among the most significant examples illustrating how peer-to-peer generated online information affects consumer behaviors and purchasing decisions in this networked information age. To examine effects of review content and reviewer characteristics on consumer evaluations of online reviews, this study analyzed 29,199 reviews of restaurants on collected through our specialized web crawler. Theories of information processing and attribution provided conceptual frameworks for our analysis. Results show that content specificity and content engagement influence consumer assessment of reviews even after controlling for measured reviewer characteristics. In addition, reviewer activeness was strongly associated with content specificity, content engagement, and consumer evaluation of the review. Our findings suggest that consumers may focus more on peripheral cues than central cues in assessing usefulness of online reviews. The current study suggests scholarly and policy implications related to social review systems by providing theoretically informed empirical analyses of consumer perceptions of online reviews.

Understanding Online Safety Behavior: The Influence of Prior Experience on Online Safety Motivation • Ruth Shillair, Michigan State University; Robert LaRose, Michigan State University; Mengtian Jiang, Michigan State University; Nora Rifon; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Shelia R. Cotten, Michigan State University • Protecting computers and their users from attack is a growing problem that requires action on the part of the average user. Extending Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), the effects of previous experience with online security threats and the role of habitual protections were incorporated into a causal model that included both protection motivation intentions and current safety behaviors. A survey of 988 MTurk workers found that previous experience with moderate security threats increased threat vulnerability and response efficacy but reduced threat severity. Habits were stronger predictors of both intentions and protective behaviors than conventional PMT variables. These findings contribute to an understanding of the motivations of average users to protect themselves online as well as communication principles for PMT based solutions in the computer safety domain.

Drawing the Line: Effects Theories and Journalism Studies in a Digital Era • Jane B. Singer, City University London • In a digital age, the nature of mediated communication challenges the explanatory power of media effects theories. As essentially linear conceptualizations that rely on identification and measurement of discrete communication components, these 20th century theories are not inherently well-suited to contemporary journalistic structures and forms. This essay adds to a growing call for a more richly theorized concept of relationship effects suitable to an immersive, iterative, and interconnected environment of news producers and products.

Hashtags and Information Virality in Networked Social Movement: Examining Hashtag Co-Occurrence Patterns during the OWS • Rong Wang, University of Southern California; Wenlin Liu, University of Southern California; Shuyang Gao • The ability to disseminate information through networked social media platforms has become increasingly central as evidenced by recent social movements. Using the virality framework, this paper conceptualizes Twitter hashtags as a mechanism to enhance the visibility and symbolic power of a social movement and analyzes hashtag use patterns based on data from the Occupy Wall Street Movement. By identifying popular hashtag types and examining the hashtag co-occurrence networks during two movement days (a regular day versus a day with the outbreak of the UC Davis Pepper Spray event), this study examines how characteristics of hashtag drive information virality during OWS. It also provides a comparative analysis of how major types of viral hashtags may play different roles in influencing the structure of the movement across different movement cycles. Implications on how event dynamics may shape hashtags’ co-occurrence patterns were provided (words: 140).

Privacy Concerns and Impacts on Collegiate Student-Athletes’ Usage Behaviors on Twitter: A Communication Privacy Management Perspective • Amanda Jo Pulido, NCAA; KENNETH C.C. YANG, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO; YOWEI KANG, KAINAN UNIVERISITY • This study examined collegiate student-athletes’ privacy concerns and impacts on their Twitter usage. The study empirically tested the predictive power of privacy management variables on Twitter usage behaviors. This study employed an online questionnaire method to survey student-athletes from a large public university in the U.S. Regression analyses concluded that perceived control, permeability rules, and linkage rules of private information on Twitter significantly predict the frequency of checking Twitter accounts. However, only perceived control of privacy information on Twitter was found to predict student-athletes’ daily usage. This study expands Communication Privacy Management (CPM) theory to the collegiate sports context.

Faculty Papers
Sexual Intensity of Adolescents’ Online Self-Presentations: Joint Contribution of Identity and Media Consumption • Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas; Autumn Shafer, Texas Tech University; Rebecca Ortiz, Texas Tech University •
Adolescents produce and distribute a vast quantity of digital media content, and some of this content is sexual. Within the context of a fictitious social media platform, an online survey (N = 265) of 13- to 15-year-olds found that the sexual intensity of self-presentation is a product sexual self-concept, partially mediated by sexual media diet, and moderated by extraversion. This study bridges emerging research on sexual self-presentation with established literature on adolescents’ sexual media uses and effects.

Social Television Engagement: An Integrated Model of Social-Relational and Content-Relational Factors • Jiyoung Cha, San Francisco State University • This study aims to understand how to boost viewers’ intention to engage in social TV by detecting antecedents influencing social TV engagement. Thus, this study develops a conceptual model that integrates social-relational factors and content-relational factors to predict intention to engage in social TV. Results suggest that individuals’ relations with the contacts on a SNS, relations with the SNS, and relations with television programs predict engagement in social TV.

Effects of content type in a company’s Social Networking Site on users’ willingness to subscribe the page and Word-of-Mouth intentions • Jung Won Chun, University of Florida; Moon Lee • In this study, we explored the effect of content type (utilitarian vs. hedonic) in SNSs on situational involvement with a company’s Facebook page and intentions to subscribe and promote the Facebook page in accordance with enduring involvement with a company. For highly involved people, the effect of utilitarian content is greater than hedonic content, as expected. Hedonic content increased individuals’ situational involvement with a company’s Facebook page more than utilitarian content among low-involved people. Both situational and enduring involvements influenced intention to subscribe to and continuously promote the company’s Facebook page.

Show Me the Money!: Importance of Crowdfunding Factors on Decisions to Financially Support Kickstarter Campaigns • Kevin Duvall; Rita Colistra • This research explores which factors are most influential in backers’ decisions to financially support Kickstarter projects, using an online survey. Findings suggest that Kickstarter has several distinct benefits for those who support its projects and offers them an experience that traditional production channels cannot. This study improves our understanding of the attitudes that drive Kickstarter, and it helps project creators know what aspects of their campaigns prospective supporters find most important.

Gamification of Rock the Vote: Effects on Perceived Modality, Agency, Interactivity, Navigability, And Political Participation • Francis Dalisay, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Patricia Buskirk, University of Hawaii-Manoa; Chamil Rathnayake, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Joanne Loos; Wayne Buente, University of Hawaii-Manoa • This experiment analyzed the effects of the gamification of a Rock the Vote PSA. Results revealed a gamified video version of the PSA triggered higher perceived modality, agency, interactivity, and navigability than a text version. While the gamified video’s perceived coolness, novelty, and enhancement did not differ from those of the non-gamified video, the game was perceived as more active and playful/fun than the non-gamified video. The three versions’ effects on political participation did not differ.

Exploring the uses and gratifications of Hispanic and White Facebook and Twitter users • Michael Radlick, American University; Joseph Erba, University of Kansas • Very little is known about the uses and gratifications of Hispanic Facebook and Twitter users. This manuscript presents the results of a pilot cross-sectional survey of Hispanic and White participants (N = 255). Findings address the different gratifications Hispanic and White users seek from Facebook and Twitter, and explore two types of gratifications that have been overlooked in previous studies, advocacy and identity exploration. Implications for communicating to Hispanic audiences and future research are discussed.

The role of cues in perceptions of online discussion • Joseph Erba, University of Kansas; Joseph Graf, American University; Ren-Whei Harn • An experiment was conducted (N = 528) to determine the role of a variety of cues on participants’ perceptions of online comments and commenters, and their interest in the online discussion. The experiment relied on theories of social presence, social information processing, and social identity. Findings revealed that politeness of comments, participants’ ethnicity and, to a lesser extent, gender and ethnicity of commenters, affected participants’ overall perceptions of the content of the online discussion.

Perpetuating Online Sexism Offline: Anonymity, Interactivity, and the Effects of Sexist Hashtags on Social Media • Jesse Fox, The Ohio State University; Carlos Cruz, The Ohio State University; Ji Young Lee, The Ohio State University • This study examined effects of online sexism. In this experiment, participants (N = 172) used an anonymous or personally identifying Twitter account. They shared (i.e., retweeted) or wrote posts incorporating a sexist hashtag and then evaluated male and female job candidates. Anonymous participants reported more sexism after tweeting than identified participants. Participants who composed sexist tweets reported more hostile sexism and ranked female candidates as less competent than those who retweeted.

Social Media, Selective Exposure & the Spiral of Silence, Oh my! • Sherice Gearhart, UNO; Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University • Social media and selective exposure brought forth fundamental challenges to mass communication theories such as the spiral of silence. Despite these changes it has been theorized that the spiral of silence theory may still be alive and well in the social media environment. An Internet survey using a nationwide sample tests Facebook users’ willingness to opine. Results support the influence of online selective exposure and psychological factors on speaking out.

Classifying Twitter Topic-Networks Using Social Network Analysis • Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Marc Smith, Connected Action Consulting Group; Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life; Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland; Camila Espina, University of Georgia • As users interact in social media systems like Twitter they form connections that emerge into complex social network structures, forming channels of information flow. Social media networks can be characterized by metrics including density, modularity, centralization and the fraction of isolated users. These network measures can usefully categorize social media networks based on their pattern of connections, revealing six distinct structures of information flow. Divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, in and out hub-and-spoke networks are common structures in these social media networks. We demonstrate the value of these network structures by segmenting Twitter social media network datasets to illustrate six distinct patterns of collective connections. We discuss conceptual and practical implications for each structure in terms of patterns of information flow.

A Social Networks Approach to Political Discourse • Taisik Hwang, University of Georgia; Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Soo Young Shin • This study examined how Twitter users engaged in the political discourse on the Sewol ferry accident that took place in April 2014 in South Korea by combining a social networks approach with content analysis. A comparison of the number of links across politically homogeneous clusters with the number of links across heterogeneous clusters revealed that selective exposure occurred on the Twitter topic network. Findings also showed the influence of independent journalists in disseminating information on the social network site as well as the dependence of public sentiment on political orientations. The implications of these findings for the relevant research communities were discussed.

Predictors of Smartphone Addiction • Se-Hoon Jeong, Korea University; Yoori Hwang, Myongji University • This research examined the user characteristics and media content types that can lead to addiction to smartphones. With regard to user characteristics, results showed that self-control was a negative predictor, whereas stress was a positive predictor of smartphone addiction. For media content types, SNS use, game use, and entertainment-related use were positive predictors of smartphone addiction, whereas study-related use was not. More importantly, SNS use was a stronger predictor of smartphone addiction than game use.

Conceptualizing private governance in a networked society: An analysis of scholarship on content governance • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri • This paper reviews scholarship on the ability of digital intermediaries (such as Facebook and Twitter) to enhance individual communicative agency, as well as the power of those intermediaries to control individuals’ speech. The paper incorporates so-called affirmative theories of the First Amendment into the analysis to connect the concepts discussed in this paper to a major scholarly tradition that addresses the implications of private institutions controlling public discourse through their control over communication technologies.

Do smartphone ‘power users’ protect mobile privacy better than non-power users? Exploring power usage as a factor in mobile privacy protection • Hyunjin Kang, George Washington University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University • This study examines how smartphone users’ competency of usage (i.e., power usage) impacts their privacy protection behaviors. An online survey of 1,133 smartphone users in Singapore finds that both privacy concerns and trust in mobile marketers mediate the relationship between power usage and privacy protection. When privacy concerns are included, power usage has a positive indirect effect on protection behaviors, yet when trust is included, power usage has an adverse effect on efforts to protect one’s online privacy.

An APPetite for Political Information? Characteristics and Media Habits of Mobile News App Users • Barbara Kaye, University of Tennessee – Knoxville; Tom Johnson • The ubiquity of mobile devices has triggered questions about who uses them, and whether their presence affects political participation and time spent with traditional media. Individuals who rely heavily on mobile news apps for political information are more politically active and heavier users of broadcast and cable television, newspapers, news magazines and radio news than those who rarely/never rely on apps. Moreover, reliance on news apps complements the amount of time spent using traditional media.

College Students’ Digital Media Use and Social Engagement: How Social Media Use and Smartphone Use Influence College Students’ Social Activities • Yonghwan Kim, University of Alabama; Yuan Wang, University of Alabama; Jeyoung Oh • Social media and mobile phones have emerged as important platforms for college students’ social engagement. This study examined whether and how college students’ use of social media and smartphones influence their social engagement motivated by need to belong. A survey was administered to 446 college students. Findings revealed that students’ need to belong was positively related with their use of social media and smartphones, which could further facilitate their social engagement. Moreover, the relationship between the need to belong and social engagement was mediated by college students’ digital media use. This study offers empirical evidence of the positive effects of digital media on social behaviors and contributed to further understanding about the mechanisms by which need to belong leads to social engagement through digital media use.

Why Do People Post Selfies? Investigating Psychological Predictors of Selfie Behaviors • Ji Won Kim; Tamara Makana Chock • This study examined the psychological predictors of selfie behaviors. An online survey (N = 260) explored the associations between personality traits and needs and selfie posting and editing. Results showed that extraversion, narcissism, and need for popularity were positively correlated with selfie posting and editing. Controlling for age and social media use, narcissism and need for popularity predicted selfie posting, but not editing behavior.

A Functional and Structural Diagnosis of Online Health Communities for Sustainability with a Focus on Resource Richness and Site Design Features • Hyang-Sook Kim, Towson University; Amy Mrotek, St. Norbert College; Quincy Kissack • The reality of online communities’ under-contribution issues has often been clouded with theoretical rather than real-world insight. The present study aims to neutralize this disparity, focusing through content analysis on 196 health websites and communities to systematically evaluate their functional and structural interfaces–the ingredients for a thriving online environment. Particularly attention will be paid to what variables equate to successful site traffic and impressions, ultimately providing suggestions to facilitate and optimize user contribution.

The effects of argument quality, multitasking with Facebook, and polychronicity on health-protective behavioral intentions • Anastasia Kononova; Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Eunsin Joo; Sangji Rhee • As people increasingly seek medical information and advice online, studying factors that affect health information processing and health-protective behaviors becomes especially important. The present research explored the effects of argument quality, media multitasking, and polychronicity on health-protective behavioral intentions. Participants (N=121) read an online article about influenza that included suggestions to engage in flu-preventive behaviors in the form of strong and weak arguments. In one condition, participants read the article and checked Facebook, while in another condition they were only exposed to the article. Polychronicity, or preference for multitasking, was included in the study as a moderator. Strong arguments were found to elicit more positive behavioral intentions than weak arguments. Participants also expressed greater health-protective behavioral intentions in the media multitasking condition compared with the control condition. Compared with low polychronics, moderate and high polychronics showed greater behavioral intentions when they read the article in the multitasking condition. The difference in intentions to follow suggestions presented as strong and weak arguments decreased for moderate and high polychronics. The results are discussed with the application of Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion.

Swearing Effects on Audience Comments Online: A Large-Scale Comparison of Political vs. Non-Political News Topics • K. Hazel Kwon, Arizona State University; Daegon Cho, POSTECH – South Korea • Swearing, the use of taboo languages tagged with a high level of emotional arousal, has become commonplace in contemporary media culture. The current study attempts to understand the ways in which swearing influences news audience commenting culture online. Based on a large corpus of the two-month audience comments from 26 news websites in South Korea, the study examines swearing effects as well as its interplay with anonymity on garnering public attention and shaping other audiences’ perceptions of the comments. Findings suggest that swearing generally has a positive effect on increasing public attention to the comments as well as gaining other audiences’ approvals. Comparisons between political and non-political news topics further suggest that swearing effect on gaining public attention is particularly prominent for political news comments. In contrast, the magnitude of change towards positive valence in public perception to comments is much greater for non-political topics than for politics. From the findings, we conclude that an acceptable degree of swearing norms in news audiences’ commenting culture online vary across news topical arenas. The results also lead to discussions about the possibility of likeminded exposure to political comments as a default condition for online news discussions. Finally, the study highlights the role of high-arousal emotions in shaping audience participation in contemporary networked socio-digital environment.

Online collective action as group identity performance: Extending the strategic side of SIDE • Yu-Hao Lee, University of Florida; Robert Wells, University of Florida • Low-cost online collective action facilitated by social media has been both praised as empowering to groups with less power to mobilize, but also criticized as feel-good slacktivism that has no actual impact. Based on the social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE), we examined online collective action as a group identity performance to one’s in-group and towards the target out-group. A 2 (visibility) x 2 (out-group strength) experiment was conducted to investigate when people will strategically partake in an initial online action and a subsequent action. The findings indicated that group identity predicted participating in online collective action. While the actual cost of performing the initial action was low. Visibility and out-group strength communicated different symbolic weight and affected people’s efforts in a subsequent action. The findings has theoretical implication by expanding the strategic side of SIDE. The study also has practical implications for organizations or campaigns that seek to take advantage of social media platforms.

Hooked on Facebook: The Role of Social Anxiety and Need for Social Assurance in Facebook Addiction • Roselyn J. Lee-Won, The Ohio State University; Sung Gwan Park, Seoul National University • Building on the social skill deficits model of problematic Internet use, this research examined the role of need for social assurance as a possible moderator for the relationship between social anxiety and Facebook addiction. A cross-sectional online survey, conducted with a college-student Facebook users in the United States (N=243), showed that the positive association between social anxiety and Facebook addiction was significant only among those with high levels of need for social assurance.

Contextual and Normative Influence on Willingness to Express Minority Views Online and in Offline Settings • Xigen Li, City University of Hong Kong • This study explores contextual and normative factors influencing willingness to express minority views on the Internet and in offline settings. The findings show that perceived receptiveness to diverse opinions positively predicts the willingness to express minority views both online and offline. The effect of fear of isolation on willingness to express minority views do not differ significantly from that of perceived risk of expressing minority views. Perceived social norm has no effect on the willingness to express minority views on the Internet and in offline settings, while deviance to social norm positively predicts the willingness to express minority views in both settings. Belief strength is found to be a positive predictor of the willingness to express minority views on the Internet, but not in offline settings.

Backchannel Communication Motives for Viewing Televised Olympic Games: Implications for the Future of Sports Broadcasting • Joon Soo Lim, Syracuse University; YoungChan Hwang • We conducted an online survey with 500 randomly selected social TV users in South Korea right after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Employing structural equation modeling, each motivational factor of backchannel communication was used to predict respondents’ social presence and sports channel commitment. The results showed that social interaction, information and excitement motives of social TV positively related to social presence, while it was convenience and information motives that predicted sports channel commitment.

Determinants of SNS discussion disagreement: The effects of political interest, SNS news use, and weak ties • Yanqin Lu, Indiana University; Jae Kook Lee • Drawing on a national probability survey, this study explores the predictors of discussion disagreement on SNSs. The results reveal that both political interest and news-related activities on SNSs are negatively associated with discussion disagreement. Both of these two negative relationships are particularly stronger among those who have a small proportion of weak ties in their social media networks. Implications are discussed for the impacts of SNS use on deliberative democracy.

A study of audience reactions to a celebrity’s announcement of cancer via social media: The roles of audience involvement, emotion, and gender • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Rachelle Pavelko, Indiana University; Roshni Verghese, Indiana University; Joe Bob Hester • The present study employed a content analysis of users’ Facebook responses (N = 3,953) to actor Hugh Jackman’s 2013 post announcing his skin cancer diagnosis. The aim of the study was to explore connections between audience involvement, emotional reactions to cancer news, gender of social media users, and the resulting social-media based public discussions of cancer-related prevention and detection. Findings highlight how the affordances of social media can foster close mediated relationships with public figures.

Upvotes Guarding the Gate: Analyzing thematic clues and news element in Reddit’s role as a social link aggregation site • Jeffrey Riley, Florida Gulf Coast University • This study was a quantitative content analysis looking at Reddit, a popular social link sharing website. Specifically, it looked at the /r/news subpage, which boasts 4 million subscribers. Reddit allows all users to submit links to content and then democratically vote up or down on the content. The order content appears in on the page itself is determined partially by that democratic voting process. The study, using gatekeeping theory, examines ownership, topic, theme, and elements of newsworthiness in the top submissions to /r/news over a 20-day period. The study found that Reddit, despite being an open-ended system that allows submissions from all types content, relies heavily on both legacy media and traditional media frames. The results of the study suggests that Reddit acts almost more as a perpetuation of legacy ideals within the news media as opposed to a revolutionary force in and of itself.

Always Connected or Always Distracted? ADHD and Social Assurance Explain Problematic Use of Mobile Phone and Multicommunicating • mihye seo; Junghyun Kim; Prabu David • Multicommunicating with mobile phone during face-to-face encounters with family and friends was examined with data from an online survey of 432 adults in the U.S. Multicommunicating was positively associated with problematic use of mobile phone (PUMP) and explained by two different processes, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a social need to belong. We found that those with ADHD symptoms were more likely to engage in PUMP and frequent multicommunicating. In addition, strong need for social assurance, which involves an always-on and connected lifestyle, explained PUMP and multicommunicating. Further, the role of social connectedness was more salient in females than males. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

TV Becomes Social Again : An Analysis of Motivations, Psychological Traits and Social-Interaction Behaviors of Two-screen Viewing • Hongjin Shim; Euikyung Shin; Sohei Lim • This study investigates the moderation effect of peer-group pressure in the context of groups chat on mobile instant messengers (MIMs). Why do adolescents engage in bullying behaviors on MIMs in opposition to their attitude toward bullying? Generally, previous research has explored modest associations between attitude toward cyberbullying and cyberbullying behaviors. However, this study focuses on the moderating role played by peer-group pressure in MIM group chats. An interaction effect between peer-group pressure and negative attitude toward MIM bullying is hypothesized and demonstrated based on data (N = 424) gathered via a survey conducted in July 2014 of randomly selected students from South Korean high schools and junior high schools in South Korea. The findings support the effect of interaction between the attitude and peer-group pressure. Adolescents with a highly negative attitude toward MIM bullying tended not to engage in MIM bullying regardless of the level of peer-group pressure to which they perceived themselves to be subject. However, adolescents with a neutral or positive attitude toward MIM bullying who perceived a high level of peer-group pressure engaged more in MIM bulling behaviors than did those with a similarly neutral or positive attitude who perceived a low level of PGP. It was concluded that self-justification or self-persuasion on the part of adolescents possibly resulting from the logic of cognitive dissonance can bring about engagement in MIM bullying behaviors even against adolescents’ attitudes toward MIM bullying.

Up, Periscope: Live streaming apps, the right to record, and the gaps in privacy law • Daxton Stewart, TCU; Jeremy Littau, Lehigh University • Meerkat and Periscope, mobile applications that allow users to provide live streaming video to their followers, quickly became popular among citizens and journalists upon their launch earlier this year. As the next wave of communication technologies permitting the instantaneous sharing of information, these live-streaming apps have the potential to reshape the way people think about any right to privacy they may have in public places, as well as the rights of people to record in public places under the First Amendment. Additionally, journalists are already using these tools in ways that may have a significant impact on coverage of politics and culture in the very near future. Using legal research methodology, this article examines the privacy law implications of mobile, live-streaming apps, uncovering a gap in traditional conceptualizations of privacy law that may need to be resolved to ensure a balance between a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy and a person’s right to record in public.

Social Media Brands: Toward a More Generalizable Field • Elizabeth Stoycheff; Juan Liu; Kunto Wibowo; Dominic Nanni • Social media are evolving pervasively. And scholars have noticed. This study explores interdisciplinary social media research over the past decade and identifies trends in language, types of social media sites, thematic content areas, and geographic contexts in which this research is situated. Gaps in the literature and areas of study worthy of future examination are discussed.

This News is brought to you by a Drone: User Reactions to Machine Agency in News Gathering • Akshaya Sreenivasan, The Pennsylvania State University; S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • A seven-condition, between-subjects experiment (N=274) was conducted to explore the relative effects of three human (reporter, citizen journalist, crowd) and three machine sources (drone, robot, webcam) used in newsgathering, against a control. While viewers perceive news attributed to machines like drones and robots as entertaining and enjoyable, machine sources tended to undermine the perceived credibility of the story. Traditional sources scored highest on trust, a critical mediator of credibility. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Using an Eye Tracker to Investigate Attentional Capture of Animated Display Advertisements: A Cognitive Control Account • Chen-Chao Tao, Department of Communication and Technology, National Chiao Tung University • Whether animated display ads can capture attention and enhance memory are still contentious. This study redefines animation in terms of dynamic structural features and argues that animation appearing as a unique event will capture attention (unique event hypothesis). An eye-tracking experiment using authentic news webpages with one ad on the right was conducted to compare the effects of 2D animated ads (oscillation, movement, or flash) and static ads. Generalized estimating equations showed that animation grabbed the eyes, suggesting the occurrence of implicit attentional capture. Memory for ads is determined by the joint influence of the amount of attention allocated to ads and the structural complexity of ads. Oscillation ads had the highest score, followed by movement ads. It is concluded that animation as a unique event in the visual field will capture attention, and banner blindness is a phenomenon of inattentional blindness.

Feeling Happy or Being Immersed? Advertising Effects of Game-Product Congruity in Different Game App Environments • Shaojung Sharon Wang, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan; Hsuan-Yi Chou, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan • Mobile games have become one of the most profitable digital platforms for game publishers and developers alike, driven by the widespread adoption of smart devices. Among three important sources of mobile game revenues (downloads of games, in-game purchases, and advertising), ad revenues have experienced the fastest growth. This study explored the effects of congruity between the products in the interstitial ads and game app environment on consumers’ responses to the ads. The moderation of happiness types experienced during gameplay and game immersion of the consumers on advertising effects of game-product congruity was also examined. Experimental results revealed that (1) as game-product congruity increased, advertising effects were improved; (2) happiness types of gameplay environments had a direct impact on consumers’ responses toward embedded ads. When playing the calm-happiness game (vs. excited-happiness), consumers were more favorable toward embedded ads and had higher click and purchase intentions; (3) game happiness types moderated the effects of game-product congruity. When consumers played the calm-happiness game, game-product congruity positively affected advertising effects. However, when consumers played the excited-happiness game, moderate congruity generated higher purchase intention than high and low congruity; (4) the positive advertising effects resulting from game-product congruity were more salient when consumers were less immersed in the game. Theoretical implications on app advertising research, schema theory, happiness, and immersion, as well as practical suggestions are discussed.

How does Parallax Scrolling influence User Experience? A Test of TIME (Theory of Interactive Media Effects) • Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University; S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • Parallax scrolling is a popular technique used widely in website design. Depth (or dimension) and scrolling come together to create a 3D effect, but it is unclear how this technique affects user experience. A controlled experiment (N = 133) deploying parallax scrolling in the context of product presentation reveals that perceived vividness and perceived coolness of this technique serve to engage users, with positive effects on attitude and behavior toward the website as well as the featured product. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The Effects of Online Consumer Reviews on Brand Evaluation, Attitude and Purchase Intent • Tai-Yee Wu, University of Connecticut; Carolyn Lin, University of Connecticut • This study proposes an integrated conceptual model to investigate how user-generated online consumer product reviews (or eWOM) influence reader attitude and purchase intent toward an electronic product. The results generated by 508 participants suggest that perceived trustworthiness, usefulness and message valence of online product reviews as well as user experience with eWOM and gender play either a direct or indirect role in influencing reader attitude toward the product and product purchase intent.

Skepticism as a Political Orientation Factor: A Moderated Mediation Model of Online Opinion Expression • Masahiro Yamamoto, University of Wisconsin-La crosse; Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Michael Beam, Kent State University; Myiah Hutchens, Washington State University • This study examines skepticism as an orienting factor that fosters active news media use and online opinion expression. Data from a national online panel of participants matching national population characteristics show that skepticism is related to increases in news media use, which in turn positively predicts online opinion expression. Data further indicate that this indirect link between skepticism and online opinion expression via news media use differed by age, such that this mediation effect is stronger for younger respondents in the current sample. Implications are discussed for the role of skepticism in producing an engaged citizen.

Student Papers
Examining Users’ Continued Intention Toward Facebook Use: An Integrated Model • Chen-Wei Chang, University of Southern Mississippi •
This study applies three theories (i.e., the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology 2, social contract theory, and technology continuance theory) to develop a new model for users’ continued intention toward Facebook use. An online survey based on random sampling (N = 450) was conducted in 2014. Data analysis employing structural equation modeling shows that the proposed model explains 65% of the variance for users’ continued intention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The Influence of News Overload on News Consumption • Victoria Chen, University of Texas at Austin • This exploratory study examined how news overload influences news consumption behavior and how news consumption behavior influences news overload. The results revealed that the more people felt news overloaded by the news, the less likely they were to watch TV. In contrast, the more people experience news overloaded, the more likely they were to use a search engine for news. The results also reveal that online news consumption does not contribute to a feeling of news overload.

Wikipedia: Remembering in the digital age • Michelle Chen • Collective memories are usually sanctioned by ruling elites, who determine the types of memory that should be remembered along with how they should be remembered. As an open-source website, Wikipedia has the potential to broaden the range of memories accessible on a global platform, memories that may or may not be sanctioned by elites. This paper examined the ways Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 was remembered on a global platform such as Wikipedia, and the implications of having that borderless public space for the representation and remembrance of events. Using textual analysis, this paper first examined the ways in which the New York Times and Xinhua News Agency reported on and interpreted the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, and how the protests were subsequently remembered in both presses in the 21st century. This paper then compared the official memory of the protests in the two presses with its public memory, as represented by the ways in which contributors on Wikipedia remembered the protests. Findings point to Wikipedia as a site of struggle over the hierarchy of memories. The dynamics between alternative and opposing memories on Wikipedia both reveal and are affected by the differences in how the protests were framed and made meaningful only to those who belong to certain cultural groups. Findings call into question the possibility of having a wider range of memories that encompasses the un-reported and under-reported collective memory of an iconic event in the digital age.

Who do you trust? Social endorsements effects on news evaluation • Myojung Chung, Syracuse University • Using a 2 x 3 between-subjects experiment (N = 297), this study examines how media source credibility and the level of social endorsements affect news evaluation. Results suggest that (a) there are main effects of media source credibility and social endorsements level on the way people perceive and evaluate online news content, and (b) other readers’ endorsements moderates the impact of media source credibility on news evaluation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Does Social Media Usage Reduce Information Asymmetry Among Investors? Evidence From Consumer Product Recall • Soo Jeong Hong, Michigan State University; Kwangjin Lee, Michigan State University; Hyunsang Son, The University of Texas at Austin •
This study examines the impact of social media usage on the capital market consequences of firms’ disclosure. The study has the following findings: (a) the additional dissemination of recall information via social media is associated with more negative abnormal stock return; (b) social media usage tend to exacerbate negative market reactions only in the case of passive recall announcements; and (c) comprehensive social media usage data may provide more accurate results.

Do We Trust Crowd or System? Effects of Personalization and Bandwagon Cues on User Perception • Jinyoung Kim, Pennsylvania State University; Andrew Gambino; Xiaoye Zhou • This study examined the effects of personalization and bandwagon cues (e.g., star ratings, reviews) in a restaurant recommendation web site. An online experiment was conducted measuring participants’ perceptions and intentions towards the restaurants and the web site. Results showed that personalization and bandwagon cues increased positive perceptions and intentions toward both restaurant and web site. Theoretical and practical implications for future research on the effect of web site interface cues on user’ perceptions are provided.

Elderly’s uses and gratifications of social media: Key to improving social support and social involvement • Gordon Lee, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Jessica Fuk Yin KONG • This study attempts to build a bridge between the existing factor and impact research on senior citizens’ use of social media. A random sample of 392 senior citizens was surveyed to understanding their reasons for and the potential effects of using social media on one’s perceived social support and social involvement. The result demonstrates that social media help senior citizens gain more social support and social involvement.

Seen but No Reply. Hmmm? Messaging Platforms’ Message Read Receipts and their Psychological Impact on Users • Yee Man (Margaret) Ng, The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism • Message read receipts have become a common feature on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, but they are not always welcome. In many instances, these receipts create social pressure. This study explores negative psychosocial impacts of message read receipts on users. Results of a national online survey (N = 247) reveal a discrepancy between senders’ and receivers’ perceptions towards message read receipts. In addition, the responsiveness to reply messages and the level of negative emotions of not replying depend on (1) receivers’ social distance with senders, and (2) whether the message is sent to an individual or a group of receivers. This study contributes to the growing body of literature on the use and psychological effects of instant messaging platforms.

The Allure of Self-Expression or the Desire for Privacy? Exploring Users’ Motivations for Temporary, Photograph-Based Communication • T. Franklin Waddell, Penn State University • Although visually-mediated short message applications are increasingly popular, the gratifications that users obtain from the visual affordances these services provide has been relatively underexplored. Informed by the MAIN model, the current study conducted interviews with 21 young adults to explore the motivations associated with the visually-mediated mobile application, Snapchat. Findings reveal that privacy maintenance and enhanced self-expression are common gratifications that users derive from temporary, photograph-based communication services. The implications of these results for theory and practice are discussed.

Smartphones as Social Actors? Dispositional factors that make anthropomorphism in communication technology different • Wenhuan Wang, University of Oregon • Smartphones are the most personalized communication technology and in the meantime the most personified in our society. Existing studies on anthropomorphism in computing technology focus on how to implement and elicit positive anthropomorphic effects but fail to address the motivations and dispositional factors. Through an online survey that incorporates well-tested psychological scales, this study provides empirical evidences that smartphone users’ social dispositions including chronic loneliness and attachment style are associated with their acceptance and awareness of anthropomorphism. Findings in this study suggest that Computers as Social Actors studies are limited to method of choice and overlooked how people adapt to communication technologies differently in real life settings. Anthropomorphic design in communication technology and anthropomorphized message in advertising strategies need further examination when targeting a diversified or specified demographic.

Understanding the Appeal of Social Q&A Sites: Gratifications, Personality Traits, and Quality Judgment as Predictors • Renwen Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Chen Gan • This study examines the roles of gratifications, personalities, and quality judgment in predicting social Q&A sites use. Results from a sample of 426 college students indicate that gratifications, including social/affection needs, cognitive needs, fashion-status, and entertainment, were the most salient predictors of social Q&A sites use. However, although personalities and quality judgment were strong predictors of gratifications, they had no direct predictive power toward social Q&A sites use.

Patients like me: Exploring Empathetic Interactions about Pain in an Online Health Community • Xuan Zhu • This study explored empathetic interactions within an online health community PatientsLikeMe. Texture analysis of 200 discussion postings from group forums related to chronic pain was used to determine how empathetic interactions are constructed in a virtual social setting through textual communication. The results revealed six components of online empathy concerning two roles within empathetic communication: the empathizer and the empathy receiver. Commonalities and differences between components of online and offline empathy were discussed.

2015 Abstracts


Print friendly Print friendly

About kysh