This research aimed to understand social influence of comments by answering the following questions: How do online comments impact subsequent readers’ attitudes and perceptions related to the subject matter covered in the newspaper article? Can such impact vary by the degree of social identification? Drawing on the literature on social norms and the social identification model of deindividuation effects (SIDE), the current study examined how the valence of comments affects comment readers’ responses and how the social identification process influences such responses. Findings from an online experiment supported the SIDE model: Stronger social identification increased social influence. Results showed that comments on newspaper work as peer influence in that comments prompt comment readers to adjust their views with reading of others’ comments.
Social Science Computer Review – SAGE
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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