Communication Technology 2017 Abstracts

The Role of Self-Efficacy and Motivation in mHealth App Adoption: The “Food Friend” Case Study • Alexandra Merceron; David Atkin • Smartphone apps present an interactive, tailored, low-cost and culturally adaptive vehicle for health interventions. The present study employs Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to explore the adoption of health apps. Study results demonstrate that the cognitive and motivational processes set forth by SCT—the self-system of observational learning, self-belief and efficacy to determine behavioral courses of action—and their interactions with the cognitive structures of motivation (external, vicarious and self-incentives) contribute to the mHealth adoption process.

Self-tracking with cell phones: Exploring the effects of self-monitoring and perceived control in mHealth applications • Saraswathi Bellur; Christina Devoss • The smartphone industry has contributed to the widespread growth of the “Quantified Self” movement where individuals are monitoring their everyday lives like never before. We examine the role of self-monitoring, specifically, frequency of tracking and updating health information. Findings from an online survey (N = 524) show that these variables do positively impact attitudes, intentions, use and outcome expectations. Perceived control emerges as a significant mediator. We discuss theoretical implications and avenues for future research.

Dual Screening the Candidate Agenda: The Moderating Role of Communication Technologies and Need to Evaluate for Attribute Agenda-Setting Effects of Presidential Debates • Lindita Camaj; Temple Northup; Regina Dennis; Felicia Russell; Jared Monmouth • This study explores the consequences of dual screening for political learning and opinion formation in the contexts of political campaigns and debates. Grounded in the agenda-setting theoretical framework, it investigates the impact of dual screened political debates on audiences’ perceptions about presidential candidates during the 2016 electoral campaign. The results suggest that the dual-screening practice can exert a significant moderation role for the agenda-setting effects of political debates. The effects of the televised debates were weaker for those individuals engaged in dual screening. Additionally, the results imply that the moderating role of dual screening is dependent on personality traits of the audience. Participants with low need to evaluate who watched the debates on television alone exerted the highest positive change in their perceptions of Trump’s attributes, but people with the same trait (low need to evaluate) who dual-screened the debate showed a slight negative change in their perceptions of Donald Trump. This study extends previous agenda-setting research by examining how media technologies moderate attribute agenda-setting effects at the individual level and linking these effects to broader social issues of digital disruption and political campaigning.

Mobile-mediated multimodal communications, relationship quality and subjective well-being: An analysis of smartphone use from a life course perspective • Michael Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study examined the relationships among different uses of the smartphone with close friends (i.e. voice, email, SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp), perceived relationship quality and subjective well-being. Results showed that while frequency of face-to-face communications and friendship satisfaction were related to well-being, more positive emotions and less negative emotions across all age cohorts; the linkages for mobile communications were more varied. Mobile voice was related to friendship satisfaction and social support for the 35-54 and 55-70+ cohorts; but also, to more negative emotions for the 18-34 and 35-54 cohorts. Frequency of Facebook use and number of Facebook friends was related to social support and psychological well-being for the 18-34 cohort, but also related to negative emotions. While WhatsApp use was related to social support for all cohorts, it also predicted friendship satisfaction and psychological well-being for the 55-70+ cohort. Some mobile uses however were also related to increased feelings of entrapment and negative emotions, though only for the younger cohorts. The findings are framed in line with the life course literature, and the existence of both positive and negative outcomes suggest that future studies of communication technologies and well-being may better be served with more explicit dialectical perspectives and approaches.

Perceived Online Friendships and Social Networking Sites • Yi-Ning (Katherine) Chen, National Chengchi University • This study examines the differences in the categories of online friends and perceived quality of friendships between Taiwan’s two most popular social networking sites, Facebook and LINE. We gather data from 805 adult respondents online. Results show females and younger people tend to have a bigger variety of friends. LINE is mostly used for maintaining relationships and task-oriented purposes, while Facebook is utilized for developing contacts and for being a source of information.

More than just some pictures. An exploratory study into the motives of posting pictures on Instagram • Serena Daalmans, Radboud University; Nikkie Wintjes, Radboud University; Merel van Ommen, Radboud University; Doeschka Anschutz, Radboud University • The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the motives that underlie the posting of pictures on the popular app Instagram. Based on in-depth interviews with sixteen Instagram users, we found that there are at least six different motives to post pictures on the app and these motivations differ between men and women as well as younger and older users. Furthermore, in contrast with the often-negative connotation the posting of pictures online has in academic and popular discussions, the results paint a more positive picture. Users reveal that they receive more than just a status validation from the posting of pictures, they indicate that they feel part of a community that supports them both online and in real life.

Political Discourse on Twitter Networks during the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election • Shugofa Dastgeer • This study explored Twitter network structure and uniqueness of their content across four days during and around the U.S. 2016 presidential election. While the findings indicate differences in the structure of the networks, the dominance of political candidates and mainstream media remained the same across the four days. Less than 25 percent of the data in the four networks was original tweets and the rest of them were retweets (51 percent) and mentions (25 percent).

Augment Intrusiveness: The Role of Privacy Concern in the Use of Virtual Try-On Mobile Applications • Yang Feng, San Diego State University; Quan Xie, Bradley University • This paper investigates how smartphone users perceive self-viewing (trying a virtual product on one’s own image) versus other-viewing (trying a virtual product on a model’s image) virtual try-on mobile applications, and how smartphone users’ perception of control over their personal image information affects their app attitudes, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions. Results from Study 1 demonstrate that when smartphone users have high levels of privacy concern, self-viewing virtual try-on apps are more likely to generate perceived intrusiveness than other-viewing virtual try-on apps, which in turn leads to negative app attitude. Results from Study 2 indicate that regardless of smartphone users’ levels of privacy concern, giving users control over the privacy settings reduces their perceived intrusiveness of self-viewing virtual try-on apps, which in turn leads to more positive app attitudes and brand attitudes, and increased purchase intent.

Commenting on news stories via social media • Sherice Gearhart, Texas Tech University; Derrick Holland, Texas Tech University; Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University • Previous research has validated the spiral of silence in Facebook among peers. However, no identifiable work has tested behavior in a non-peer circumstances, where theory may lack applicability. Using a 2×2 between-subjects design, participants indicated intent to refrain or comment on news posted by reputable news outlets after viewing either agreeable or disagreeable posts from others. Results support theory and reveal that individuals who selectively expose to likeminded content speak out regardless of the opinion environment.

Personality Traits and Social Media Use in 20 Countries • Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Trevor Diehl, University of Vienna; Brigitte Huber; James Liu • This study examines the relationship between peoples’ personality traits and social media uses with data from 20 societies (N = 21,314). A measure of the “Big Five” personality traits is tested on dimensions of social media: frequency of use, social interaction, and news consumption. Across diverse societies, findings suggest that while extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are all positive predictors of different types of social media use; emotional stability and openness, are negatively related to them.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Media: Can Corporate Citizenship Motivate Companies to Create Safe Social Media Platforms? • Jennifer Grygiel, Syracuse University/Newhouse; Nina Brown, Syracuse University/Newhouse • This paper investigates the legal framework governing social media platforms in order to assess whether companies are motivated to create safe social media platforms. Using case studies, we explore the idea that increased corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship can encourage companies to enhance their platforms beyond their legal responsibilities, in order to increase user safety.

Distributed Intimacies: Robotic Warfare and Drone Whistleblowers • Kevin Howley, DePauw University • This paper adapts the concept of “distributed intimacy” in an effort to identify and analyze unequal relations of power/knowledge in the mediated relationships articulated by drone warfare. Throughout, I contend this notion enhances our understanding of the authoritarian logic of disembodied control at a distance underpinning America’s drone campaign. The paper proceeds in three parts. The first develops an analytical framework for examining the distributed intimacies engendered and exploited by drone warfare. Doing so, I identify revealing points of comparison between commercial and authoritarian logics of digital mediation. The second considers the affective and political consequences of this new kind of war for drone operators turned whistleblowers. Here I consider the relationship between digital witnessing and trauma in the era of robotic warfare. Based on an examination of press accounts, broadcast interviews, and documentary films, this paper identifies drone whistleblowers – whose intimate testimony exposes the physical, emotional, and psychological brutality of drone warfare – as central actors in the formation of an alternative order of discourse surrounding weaponized drones. The paper concludes with an assessment of the personal and institutional challenges confronting the ranks of remote-control warriors as Donald Trump, one of the most authoritarian figures in recent American history, assumes the office of the presidency, and with it, command and control of the US drone program.

Revisiting the privacy paradox: Exploring the mediating effect of privacy management and self-disclosure on social capital • Shih-Hsien Sandra Hsu, National Taiwan University; Yi-Hsing Han, Fu Jen Catholic University; Thomas Johnson • This study employed various measurements of key variables to update the current status of the privacy paradox phenomenon—the disconnection between privacy concerns and self-disclosure on Facebook—and found the break of the traditional privacy paradox and the existence of the social privacy paradox. It further examined the mediating role of privacy management to solve the dilemma. Findings confirmed that privacy management is important in redirecting the relationships among privacy concerns, self-disclosure, and social capital.

Effects of Self-Presentation Strategies and Tie Strength on Facebook Users’ Subjective Well-Being • Wonseok (Eric) Jang, Texas Tech University; Jung Won Chun; Jihoon (Jay) Kim, University of Georgia • Existing evidence suggests that the use of Facebook (FB) has a positive impact on subjective well-being (SWB) when people use FB to interact with close friends. Based on the self-presentation literature, the current study identified an effective strategy for how FB users can enhance SWB while interacting with weak tie FB friends. The results indicated that FB users became happier after adopting strategic self-presentation while interacting with weak tied friends compared to true self-presentation.

Mobile Moves: Engagement, Emotion and Attention to Social Media Images on Mobile and Desktop Screens • Kate Keib, Oglethorpe University; Bartosz Wojdynski; Camila Espina, University of Georgia, Grady College; Jennifer Malson, University of Georgia, Grady College; Brittany Jefferson; Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia • Screen size, input modalities, and use pattern differences between smartphones and desktop computers have been thought to influence information processing. This eye-tracking study compared consumers’ visual attention to, and engagement intent with, social media news images on mobile and desktop devices. Results show users pay significantly less attention to social media posts on smartphones than desktops, posts with images were perceived as more arousing than posts without images, and negative images were the most arousing.

Unpacking unboxing videos: the mediating role of parasocial interaction between unboxing viewing motivations and purchase decision-making • Hyosun Kim, University of Wisconsin_Stevens Point • Via a web survey, the present study explored the effects of YouTube unboxing motivations on purchase decision making from use and gratification perspective. Also, the mediating role of parasocial interaction(PSI) was examined. Results suggested that PSI fully mediated when users view unboxing videos to feel realness of products or experience products vicariously, fostering purchase decision making. Though entertainment motivation did not directly predict purchase decision, it significantly affects people to consider purchase through PSI.

Virtual Tours Promote Behavioral Intention and Willingness to Pay via Spatial Presence, Enjoyment, and Destination Image • Jihoon (Jay) Kim, University of Georgia; Thitapa Shinaprayoon, University of Georgia; Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, University of Georgia • Despite the increasing popularity of virtual tours in tourism marketing, empirical supports for the benefits of virtual tours are lacking. This study (N = 118) investigates how a virtual tour affects behavioral intention and monetary valuation toward a travel destination. Results revealed that experiencing the virtual tour increased behavioral intention and willingness to pay, compared to reading the e-brochure, via spatial presence, enjoyment, and destination image. The theoretical and managerial implications of virtual tour experience are discussed.

Influencers with #NoFilter: How Micro-Celebrities Use Self-Branding Practices on Instagram • Eunice Kim, University of Florida; Casey McDonald, University of Florida • The growth and popularity of user-generated content has created as a new form of celebrity known as ‘micro-celebrities.’ Micro-celebrities engage in strategic self-branding practices on social media through use of self-presentation strategies to attract and maintain a fan base. The study uses a content analysis to explore how micro-celebrities use self-presentation strategies (i.e., self-promotion, affiliation, and authenticity) on Instagram. Findings reveal that self-presentation strategies vary by gender and account types of micro-celebrities.

When do Online Audiences Amplify Wellbeing Benefits of Expressive Writing? Identifying Effects of Audience Similarity and Commenting • Rachel Kornfield, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Catalina Toma, University of Wisconsin-Madison • It may be possible to enhance benefits of self-disclosure writing through adjusting online environments and thereby the perceptions of one’s audience. In a two-by-two experimental design, we examine effects of 1) establishing a shared identity between writers and audiences, and 2) enabling or disabling commenting. Results suggest that writers perceiving similar audiences showed more cognitive processing, while those led to expect comments wrote less about emotions. Audience similarity was associated with increased post-traumatic growth.

Narcissism or Willingness: The way college students use Facebook and Instagram • Sangki Lee, Arkansas Tech University • This study examined how participants’ narcissistic traits and willingness to share personal information were related to social networking site (SNS) activities. 271 undergraduate students provided a self-report. 211 Facebook and 231 Instagram pages were coded based on self-promotional pictures. Results indicated both perspectives were related to SNS activities. However, participants’ willingness to share information about themselves better correlated with SNS activities, posting pictures in particular, than narcissistic traits did. Contribution and limitation were discussed.

Promoting CSR Programs/activities via Social Media On social media, does reading online comments encourage people to speak up or be silent? Social Judgement and Spiral of Empowerment • Moon Lee, University of Florida; Jung Won Chun; Jungyun Won, University of Florida • We investigated effects of online comments on individuals’ willingness to speak out when a CSR program/activity becomes a topic of exchange via social media. An online experiment with 277 participants was conducted. People with positive prior attitude are more likely to speak out when reading both positive public opinion polls and two-sided online comments. People with negative prior attitude were less willing to speak out when reading others’ two-sided comments than negative comments.

Lifestyles, Mobile Viewing Habits, Contextual Factors, and TV Content Interest as Predictors of the Intention to Adopt Mobile TV • Louis Leung, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Cheng Chen, Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study applies the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to explain the intentions of Hong Kong consumers to adopt mobile TV and their interests in its content. Using a probability sample of 644 respondents, this study not only demonstrated the robustness of TPB in explaining consumer behavior but also showed that channel deficiency, mobile viewing habits (which were moderated by perceived behavioral control), and content interest could significantly influence consumers’ intentions to adopt mobile TV services.

The Effect of Efficiency, Matching, Trusts and Risks on the Adoption of Content Curation Service • Lu Li, Sungkyunkwan University; Shin-Hye Kwon, Sungkyunkwan University; Byeng Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University • Content curation is now widely used in online film and music services. As a new way to organize and present information of goods, it attracts many users and promotes sales. There are many factors that influence the adoption of content curation services, and the present study focuses on the effects of perceived efficiency, perceived matching, perceived trust and perceived risk on attitude and intention to use of film and music content curation service. The differences between film content curation services and music content curation services were compared. Perceived trust was divided to trust in competence and trust in integrity. Perceived risk included product risk and time risk. An online survey with 448 samples was conducted to examine the effects of the above factors. The results showed that (1) perceived efficiency and perceived matching had a positive effect on attitude and intention; (2) perceived trust did not have significant effects; (3) perceived time risk had negative effects in music content curation services while perceived product risks influenced intention to use in film content curation services; (4) film and music content curation services had many differences in the effects of the above variables.

Understanding Political Brand Communities from a Social Network Perspective: A study of the GOP 2017 Primary Elections • Jhih-Syuan Elaine Lin, University of Georgia; Itai Himelboim • This study analyzes Twitter activity by and about Republican Primary candidates in January 2016. The findings suggest that brand social mediators play an important role in connecting political brand communities across the network. Several social mediators are identified for winning and trailing candidates. Different patterns of information flow and network structures are found in winning and trailing brand communities. The interactions between candidates and direct vs. indirect communities also exhibit different patterns of information flow.

Are People Willing to Share Their True Opinions on Social Networking Sites? Exploring Roles of Self-Presentational Concern in Spiral of Silence • Yu Liu; Jian Rui; Xi Cui, College of Charleston • The purpose of this study is to extend the spiral of silence framework with the integration of online self-presentation perspective to investigate the psychological processes of SNS users’ political self-disclosure through commenting, sharing or posting behaviors. Survey data from 296 SNS users confirmed the opinion-congruence based mechanism argued by the classic spiral of silence theory, and found that SNS users’ willingness of online engagement in controversial issues is also related to self-presentational concern and CSW.

Credibility perception within social media frames: How Wechat mediates sources’ effect on responses to food-safety information • Ji Pan • Conceiving Wechat as a frame for mediated social interactions, this study conducts a controlled experiment to explore how Wechat shapes the effects of embedded source cues (China’s CCTV logo and avatars) on information assessment and on subjects’ responses to food-safety information. Findings show that when individual avatars re-paste CCTV-produced information about food safety on Wechat, the credibility of Wechat mediates the impact of CCTV credibility on information assessment, and the mediating effect is contingent on the frequency of Wechat use. The attitudinal and behavioral effects of CCTV credibility also depend on the perceived credibility of Wechat. The credibility of avatars exerts an independent effect on information assessment, but no impact on behavior or on attitude. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical implications for integrating framing theory with media credibility literature in the Web 2.0 era.

Academics versus Athletics and Rhetorical Mechanisms Used by Business Schools in Brand Promotion on Social Media • Shaila Miranda, University of Oklahoma; Rahnuma Ahmed, University of Oklahoma; Nazmul Rony, University of Oklahoma • “Branding is critical to business schools at a crossroad in public opinion. Research on brand promotion via social media offers little insight into how organizations should craft brand messages or how their institutional context might mitigate message efficacy. Based on dual process theories, we identified two sets of rhetorical mechanisms – systematic and heuristic. Investigation of tweets by eight schools indicated use of the mechanisms and traction they garnered with audiences is shaped by institutional contexts.

News Gatekeeping and Socially Interactive Functions of Twitter: An Algorithmic Content Analysis • Frank Russell, California State University, Fullerton; Katie Yaeger, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Jennifer Para, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This study concerns Twitter use at the organizational level by the 26 most popular online news entities in the United States. An algorithmic content analysis compared characteristics of posts published on the news organizations’ main Twitter accounts during a one-month period in fall 2015. Statistically significant differences existed between news organizations in the use of three socially and technically interactive functions of Twitter: retweets, @mentions, and hashtags

Reporting the Future of News: Constructing Risks and Benefits for Journalism, Silicon Valley, and Citizens • Frank Russell, California State University, Fullerton • This qualitative discourse analysis explored risks and potential benefits for journalism, Silicon Valley, and citizens in the digital transformation of news gatekeeping. Coverage by the Nieman Lab industry website described Silicon Valley platforms’ gatekeeping role between news media and citizens principally in terms of risks and potential benefits for journalism. The findings suggested that uncertainty over the conditions of contributing content to Silicon Valley platforms raised legitimacy concerns for news media.

It’s Alt-Right: Tracing the Technosocial Evolution of White Nationalism on Twitter • Saif Shahin, Bowling Green State University; Yee Man Margaret Ng, The University of Texas at Austin • This study examines the evolution of White Nationalism on Twitter (2009-2016) by tracking the growing frequency of retweets of “alt-right” messages and the changing structure of the social network they constituted. It identifies the prospect of Barack Obama’s second election in 2012 as a key factor that bolstered the movement. It also shows that the movement was clustered, but a few weak ties across clusters allowed it become a megaphone for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Just Venmo Me the Money: An Exploratory Analysis of Alternative Banking Adoption • Evren Durmaz; Julie Ciardi, St. John Fisher College; Ronen Shay, St. John Fisher College; Gianna Sarkis; Nicholas Cieslica • To explore diffusion of alternative banking this mixed-methods study first surveyed 219 MTurk respondents to examine the factors that contribute towards alternative banking usage; whether age or perceived convenience have relationship with a consumer’s willingness to read the terms and conditions of online banking apps/websites; and how well alternative banking brands are trusted relative to traditional offline banks. Content analysis is also utilized to compare banking fees across platforms.

A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Croatian and American Social Network Sites: Exploring Cultural Differences in Motives for Instagram Use • Pavica Sheldon, University of Alabama, Huntsville; Philipp A. Rauschnabel, University of Michigan – Dearborn; Mary Grace Antony, Schreiner University • The current study compares motives for Instagram use between participants of two countries: Croatia, a highly collectivistic culture, and the United States, a typically individualist culture. Findings reveal that Croatian students’ Instagram use reflects collectivist tendencies as they predominantly use it for social interaction. American students’ use of Instagram reflects individualistic trends, namely self-promotion and documentation.

Personal ties, group ties and latent ties: Connecting network size to diversity and trust in the mobile social network WeChat • Cuihua Shen; He Gong • This study examines whether and how personal and group network sizes affect diversity and trust in the mobile social media WeChat. We argue that the social network affordances of WeChat, coupled with its distinct network privacy, give rise to a wide spectrum of relations ranging from strong, weak to latent ties. Online survey data (N = 313) reveal that both personal network size and group network size are positively related to people’s social network diversity (measured by the position generator). However, group network size is negatively related to people’s trust in their WeChat contacts. We argue that the increasing size of the group network and the existence of latent ties reduce familiarity, certainty and accountability that are prerequisites of trust.

Can Immersive Journalism Affect Presence, Memory, Credibility, Empathy and Sharing? An Experimental Comparison of VR Stories, 3600 Videos and Text • S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University; Jin Kang; Danielle Oprean • Immersive journalism in the form of VR headsets and 3600 videos is much touted for its ability to induce greater ‘presence’ in the mediated environment. In a controlled experiment (N = 129), VR and 3600 videos outperformed text with pictures, not only on such presence-related outcomes as being there, interaction and realism, but also on perceived source credibility, story sharing intentions and feelings of empathy. We explore theoretical mechanisms and practical implications of these effects.

Barriers and Facilitating Conditions for parents’ mobile communication with adolescent children in resource-constrained contexts • Alcides Velasquez, University of Kansas • Access to and use of mobile and smartphones in resource constrained contexts does not come without adoption and use barriers. Mixing qualitative and quantitative methodologies, this study investigates what are the barriers parents of teenage children in resource constrained contexts face for mobile parenting. The qualitative phase of the study explored the individual and enviornmental barriers that parents in Bogotá, Colombia, faced when trying to use mobile communication technologies to contact their teenage children. The quantitative phase examined the relationship among the variables suggested by findings in the first phase. Findings show that parents use alternative resources available to them and that they take advantage of these resources to gain material access, but that the acquisition of skills to use mobile technologies can be affected by learning efficacy perception barriers.

How the Serialization of News Affects Recipients’ Attitudes Toward Politicians Involved in Scandals • Christian von Sikorski; Johannes Knoll • Journalists tend to serialize political scandals and publish scandalous information bit by bit instead of all at once in a single news article. Participants took part in an experiment and were exposed to identical scandalous information about a political candidate. However, the form of presentation—exposure to 1/2/3/4, or 5 article(s)—was systematically manipulated. Serialization indeed indirectly decreased candidate attitudes via the perceived scandal importance, participants’ reading duration, cognitive elaboration, and intensity of negative emotions.

Like My Posts? Exploring the Brand–Post Congruence Effect of Facebook Pages • Shaojung Sharon Wang, National Sun Yat-sen University; Yu-Ching Lin • This study explored the effects of Facebook Pages’ brand–post congruence and a brand’s product attribute on consumers’ intentions to interact on brands’ posts. The moderating effect of product involvement was also assessed. The experimental results showed that congruence level alone did not exert significantly different effects on interaction intention, but the interaction effect of congruence and product type was significant. Low brand involvement significantly increased interaction intention when the brand-post congruence was low.

An integrated model of TAM and eWOM exploring WeChat payment use in China • Shaojung Sharon Wang, National Sun Yat-sen University; Chiao-Yung Chang • This study incorporated the TAM model into eWOM perspectives to explore WeChat payment adoption and use behaviors. PU had a positive impact on intention to use while EOU was not a significant predictor of behavioral intention. The effects of brand trust and profit gained was assessed. The quantity of strong tie recommendations partially mediated the effect of the recommenders’ tie strength on use intention. Implications on the application of TAM and tie strength are discussed.

Peer-Citation and Academic Social Networking: Do Altmetrics Affect Peer-Citation and Article Readership in Communication Research? • ben wasike, university of texas rio grande valley • This study examined how altmetrics, the attention that research gets from social media and the Internet, affect readership and peer-citation in communication research. Citation data was examined alongside altmetrics from academic SNSs ResearchGate and Mendeley, and mentions on social media. All altmetrics positively correlated with citation. Posting articles on ResearchGate and Mendeley improves readership and the likelihood of citation. Impactful variables also include social media mentions, downloadable articles, co-authorship, and an active online presence.

An Analysis of Google Scholar Profiles of Mass Communication Faculty at U.S. Research Universities • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Sann Ryu; David Ross; Rachel Yang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This paper presents an analysis of Google Scholar (GS) profiles of tenure-track faculty in journalism and mass communication departments at U.S. research universities (N=321). We found that males and females were equally likely to have a GS profile and that on average more than 35% of entries in a profile had 0 citations. Academic rank was the strongest predictor of total entries, citations and h index; academic department and total doctoral students were also significant.

How Interactivity Influences Evaluations of Product Choice Among Consumers with Different Levels of Desire for Control • Linwan Wu, University of South Carolina; Denetra Walker • This study investigates the interplay between interactivity, desire for control, and product choice. The results indicated that with a small choice set, participants high in desire for control expressed more favorable product attitudes when interactivity was high versus low, but those low in desire for control expressed similar product attitudes across different interactivity conditions. When provided a large choice set, consumers’ product attitudes were not influenced by levels of interactivity or desire for control.

Responding to Racism: Bystander Responses to Racist Posts on Social Media • Rachel Young, University of Iowa; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Michael Nelson, Michigan State University; Maddie Barnes, Michigan State University; Alex Torres • This experimental study investigated bystander response to racism on an app where users were visually anonymous (n = 373). Participants were much more likely to use more indirect options, such as down-voting or reporting the posts, than to directly confront racist posts with their own comments. The number of bystanders had no effect on action. Our study suggests avenues for fostering more active confrontation and engagement on the part of bystanders.

“Big Brother is Watching You!” • Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University; Derrick Holland, Texas Tech University • Using data from a 2013 national survey of American adults (N = 1,801) from the Pew Research Center, this study examines the spiral of silence effect in the social media and offline settings during the Edward Snowden-NSA saga. Results indicate that Facebook and Twitter users were more willing to voice their opinions about the Snowden-NSA issue in social media and offline settings if they perceive their social media networks agree with them.

Tablet Uses and Gratifications: Support, Attitude, Self-efficacy, and Anxiety • chenjie zhang, Bowling Green State University; Kate Magsamen-Conrad • We conducted a cross-sectional study to test how self-efficacy, attitude toward tablet use, perceived support availability, and anxiety affecting table uses and gratifications. Age, education level, and biological sex are control variables. Attitude and perceived support positively predict tablet uses and gratifications, whereas anxiety positively predicts information seeking and does not predict organization. Self-efficacy does not predict any subfactors of tablet uses and gratifications. Further discussion is provided in this paper.

Facebook: Antidote or poison? A study of the relationship between Facebook, depression, and older adults • Katie Anthony • This study examines the relationship between Facebook uses and gratifications among those 65+ years old and the signs and symptoms of depression. An online survey found that the social affection and informational gratifications are most sought and lead to an increase in depressive symptoms. However, the most popular gratification among the respondents was social interaction, suggesting that more people are drawn to Facebook for an emotional connection.

Immersive narratives, 360 video, and VR: A pilot experiment examining 360 video and narrative transportation • Aaron Atkins, Ohio University; Dave McLean, University of Florida; William Canter, Georgia State • This study examines the impact of medium on narrative transportation. Virtual reality and 360-video are growing in journalism. This experiment serves as a pilot, examining a news narrative’s level of transportation, immersion, and potential for attitude change, between 360-video viewed on a two-dimensional screen and in VR. Findings suggest VR condition participants experienced increases in transportation and immersion; however, a correlation between transportation and attitude change was not found. Practical implications for journalists are discussed.

Technologies and Social Fitness: Examining Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Health Monitoring, Goal-Setting, and Results Sharing • Kim Baker, University of Alabama; Sarah Pember, University of Alabama; Xueying Zhang; Kimberly Bissell, University of Alabama • This survey study employed theoretical frameworks of self-efficacy and sociometer theory to advance understanding of the effects of mobile technologies on fitness within the context of social interactions. Self-efficacy was a significant predictor for tracking, goal-setting, goal dedication, and perceived effectiveness of tracking for physical and mental benefits. Self-esteem was a significant predictor of the perceived effectiveness of tracking for physical benefits and intentions to try new technologies.

“I’ve Lost the Weight, Now Feed Me Upvotes!”: Weight Loss Narratives in an Online Support Space and Strategic Impression Management for Garnering Social Support • Jared Brickman; Shuang Liu; David Silva, Washington State University • Online support communities are popular and growing. However, newer social interaction features like content aggregation and scoring through “likes” and “upvotes” have changed how people give and evaluate social support. This study used content analysis to identify the posting strategies and narratives used by members of the weight loss subreddit /r/loseit, which uses content aggregation. A negative binomial regression revealed which strategies and narratives resulted in the most engagement with the content.

Self-mockery as an Alternative Social Strategy: Gratifications-sought, Need for Humor, Narcissism, and Self-Mocking Meme Usage • Miao LU, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hua FAN, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • Based on a survey research of Chinese college students (N=506), this exploratory study examines the uses and gratifications of self-mocking memes on social media, and identifies six motivations: self-protection, social criticism, sociability, entertainment, venting personal negative feelings and recognition. All the six motivations are proved to be strong predictors of self-mocking meme usage. This study also addresses the roles of individual traits (i.e. need for humor and narcissism) in predicting gratifications-sought and intensity of self-mocking meme usage and need for humor is proved to be a strong predictor. Lastly, this study explores how intensity of self-mocking meme usage will impact Chinese college students’ psychological well-being and finds a mixed effect: it is positively related to harmonious interpersonal relationship but negatively related to self-acceptance.

Instagram as a tool for communicating sexual health: Future recommendations and unanswered questions • NIcole O’Donnell; Davi Kallman, Washington State University; Whitney Stefani, Washington State University • Public health organizations often use the photo-sharing social networking site Instagram for communicating health risks. In the present study, we analyzed young adults’ likelihood to use Instagram for sexual health information seeking. Female gender, low condom-use self-efficacy, and high intentions to practice safe sex predicted likelihood to use a sexual health Instagram service. Message sensation value and message attention were also evaluated. Results provide insight into the effectiveness of using Instagram for sexual health promotion.

Parasocial Interaction and YouTube: Extending the Effect to Online Users • Kirstin Pellizzaro, Arizona State University; Ashley Gimbal • Parasocial interaction has been widely studied in traditional mass media, such as television and radio, but few studies utilize this theory to understand the phenomenon within the ever-growing online video market. This study sought to fill a gap in the literature while adding to parasocial interaction research. Using an online survey, this study found that viewers of YouTube personas do not exhibit the same levels of parasocial interaction than those of traditional mass media.

How great can Greater China be? A comparative study of the consumption of mobile apps in the Greater China area • Chris CHAO SU, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hang Kuang, Chinese University of Hong Kong • This paper focuses on the use of mobile applications (apps) and the model of cross-regional communication in the app markets of the Greater China area (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau), and explores the influence of policy, capital, and regional cultural tastes on the consumption of mobile apps. The cross-regional degree of mobile apps is used to measure the circulation of apps in different markets, and to single out mobile apps and their producers that can achieve cross-regional commercial success and gain market recognition in the Greater China area. Built on quantitative methods, the final samples consist of 1,124 mobile apps that are ranked among the top 500 in at least two markets. Further coding of these apps and their producers has been done according to market platform, founding year, price, whether the app is listed or not, the location of producers, app genres, and cross-regional degree. The results show that, in the mobile app market, no such thing as a Greater-China community exists. The consumption of apps in these markets is significantly influenced by policies, company capital, and local cultural tastes. In addition, mainland China is obviously isolated from other Greater China regions. Compared with the cross-regional degrees of apps in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, the degree in mainland China is rather low.

Tell Me More: The Effects of Mobile Screen Size on Self-disclosure • Jinping Wang, The Pennsylvania State University; Eugene Cho; Bikalpa Neupane • As information disclosure occur more on mobile devices, how difference in screen sizes affect the level of self-disclosure when using mobile devices is worth exploring. A between-subject quasi-experiment was conducted to investigate this question. Findings suggested that being exposed to a larger screen elicited more disclosure related to health information. However, no corresponding effects appeared with transactional information disclosure. In addition, the level of mobile power usage moderated the relationship between screen size and self-disclosure.

A Slap or a Jab: An Experiment on Viewing Uncivil Political Discussions on Facebook • Meredith Wang, Washington State University; David Silva, Washington State University • Across two experiments conducted in the end of last Presidential election, we replicate previous findings that exposure to incivility while viewing political debates on Facebook can be both upsetting and engaging. This study adds to research by testing differential effects of two kinds of incivility: insults and mockery. The effects of these two types changes between gun control and abortion topics, suggesting future research on online incivility may need to better address topic-specific outcomes.

Are you a social media chameleon? Probing self-presentations across and within social network sites • Lewen Wei, Pennsylvania State University; Jin Kang • The presentation of self has been reasoned to be malleable and context-specific during social interactions. The purpose of this study was to extend and test this notion in social network sites (SNSs). Two studies were conducted. The first one takes the form of the interview with the second one as an online survey to explore users’ motivations, behavioral patterns and boundary regulation strategies when projecting multiple selves on social media.

To meet or not to meet? Measuring motivations and risks as predictors of outcomes in the use of mobile dating applications • ka yee Janice WONG, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Randy Jay Solis, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • Mobile dating applications (MDA) like Momo gratify the sexual needs of their users, among others, contributing to the radicalization of sexual ideologies in China. However, risk must also be considered within this context of needs gratification. Thus, this study asked: Do motivations and risks predict the outcomes of MDA use? Findings reveal that sexuality, self-esteem, and love are predictors of MDA use to meet for dates and sex, regardless of the risk of exposure.

The Effect of Hedonic Presentation of Horticultural Product on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay and Purchase Intention • Jing Yang, Loyola University Chicago; Juan Mundel, DePaul University; Bridget Behe; Patricia Huddleston, Michigan State University • The current study investigated how the hedonic/utilitarian presentation of horticultural products influences consumers’ willingness to pay and purchase intention. A 2 (brand association: hedonic vs. utilitarian) x 3 (product presentation: hedonic vs. utilitarian vs. both) between-subject experiment was conducted to examine the impact. Results showed that the hedonic presentation of horticultural products has potential to positively influence consumers’ purchase intention and willingness to pay. Managerial implications for the horticultural industry and future research are also discussed.


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