Powerful Communication Style on Twitter: Effects on Credibility and Civic Participation = Estilo comunicativo súbito en Twitter: efectos sobre la credibilidad y la participación cívica

Alvídrez, Salvador and Franco-Rodríguez, Oziel Powerful Communication Style on Twitter: Effects on Credibility and Civic Participation = Estilo comunicativo súbito en Twitter: efectos sobre la credibilidad y la participación cívica. Comunicar, 2016, vol. 24, n. 47, pp. 89-97. [Journal article (Paginated)]

[img] Text
c4709en.pdf - Published version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (369kB)
[img] Text

Download (383kB)
Alternative locations: http://dx.doi.org/10.3916/C47-2016-09

English abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of two linguistic styles used in Twitter messages on engaging users in civic participation activities, understood as participation by citizens in community improvement actions. Using a socio-linguistic approach, an experimental intervention was carried out in which 324 university students evaluated the messages posted by the head of an environmental NGO on Twitter. The gender of the NGO head (male vs. female) and the linguistic style used for the posts were manipulated in terms of a «powerful» (e.g., assertive, direct) or «powerless» style (e.g., indirect, ambiguous). The gender of the evaluators was also manipulated in order to analyze potential differences among the overall impressions and evaluations between men and women. The results showed that «male» and «female» versions of the NGO head were perceived as more credible when they used a powerful as opposed to a powerless linguistic style. This effect was observed irrespective of the evaluator’s gender. Moreover, the test for indirect effects suggested that credibility mediated the relationship between a powerful style and the likelihood of engaging users to participate in the NGO’s agenda. The results are discussed in terms of the relevance of this type of communication for promoting civic participation in social media.

Spanish abstract

El presente trabajo tuvo como propósito examinar el efecto de dos estilos lingüísticos en mensajes de Twitter sobre su capacidad de atraer e involucrar a usuarios en actividades de participación cívica, entendida esta como la participación de ciudadanos en acciones de mejora comunitaria. A partir de una aproximación sociolingüística, se realizó un estudio experimental en el que 324 estudiantes universitarios evaluaron los mensajes publicados por el líder de una ONG medioambiental en su página de Twitter. Se manipuló el género del líder de la ONG (hombre o mujer) y el estilo lingüístico empleado en la redacción de los mensajes en términos de un estilo «súbito» (ejemplo: asertivo, directo) o un estilo «dócil» (ejemplo: indirecto, ambiguo). El género de los evaluadores también fue manipulado con el fin de analizar diferencias potenciales en las impresiones y evaluaciones de hombres y mujeres. Los resultados mostraron que cuando los líderes «hombre» y «mujer» emplearon un estilo lingüístico súbito en sus mensajes fueron percibidos como más creíbles sin importar el género de los evaluadores. Además, el análisis de efectos indirectos registró que la credibilidad percibida hacia el líder medió la relación entre el estilo súbito y la probabilidad de que los seguidores se involucren en las iniciativas de la ONG. Los resultados son discutidos en términos de la relevancia de este tipo de comunicación para la participación cívica en las redes sociales.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: social media, civic participation, linguistic style, gender, credibility, Twitter, NGO, environmental protection, redes sociales, participación cívica, estilo lingüístico, género, credibilidad, Twitter, ONG, protección del medio ambiente
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 01 Aug 2016 13:19
Last modified: 02 Aug 2016 07:23
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/29607


Adkins, M., & Brashers, D. (1995). The Power of Language in Computer-mediated Groups. Management Communication Quarterly, 8, 289-322. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0893318995008003002

Adrianson, L. (2001). Gender and Computer-mediated Communication: Group Processes in Problem Solving. Computers in Human Behavior, 17(1), 71-94. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0747-5632(00)00033-9

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Bacallao, L.M. (2014). Social Media Mobilisations: Articulating Participatory Processes or Visibilizing Dissent? Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 8(3), 3. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5817/CP2014-3-3

Baek, Y.M. (2015). Political Mobilization through Social Network Sites: The Mobilizing Power of Political Messages Received from SNS Friends. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 12-19. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.021

Bekafigo, M.A., & McBride, A. (2013). Who Tweets about Politics?: Political Participation of Twitter Users during the 2011 Gubernatorial Elections. Social Science Computer Review, 31(5), 625-643. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894439313490405

Booth-Butterfield, S., & Welbourne, J. (2002). The Elaboration Likelihood Model: Its Impact on Persuasion Theory and Research. In J.P. Dillard, & M. Pfau (Eds.), The Persuasion Handbook: Developments in Theory and Practice (pp. 155-174). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Boulianne, S. (2009). Does Internet Use Affect Engagement? A Meta-analysis of Research. Political Communication, 26(2), 193-211. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10584600902854363

Bradac, J.J., & Street, R.L. (1989). Powerful and Powerless Styles of Talk: A Theoretical Analysis of Language and Impression Formation. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 23(1-4), 195-241. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08351818909389321

Burgoon, J.K., & Miller, G.R. (1987). An Expectancy Interpretation of Language and Persuasión. In H. Giles, & R.N. St. Clair (Eds.), Recent Advances in Language, Communication, and Social Psychology (pp. 199-229). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Burrell, N.A., & Koper, R.J. (1998). The Efficacy of Powerful/Powerless Language on Attitudes and Source Credibility. In M. Allen, & R.W. Preiss (Eds.), Persuasion Advances through Meta-Analysis (pp. 203-215). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

Cialdini, R.B., & De-Nicholas, M.E. (1989). Self-presentation by Association. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 626-631. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.4.626

Erickson, B., Lind, E., Johnson, B., & O'Barr, W. (1978). Speech Style and Impression Formation in a Court Setting: The Effects of «Powerful» and «Powerless» Speech. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 14(3), 266-279. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(78)90015-X

Gallois, C., & Callan, V.J. (1991). Interethnic Accommodation: The Role of Norms. In H. Giles, J. Coupland, & N. Coupland (Eds.), Contexts of Accommodation. Developments in Applied Sociolinguistics (pp. 245-269). New York: Cambridge University Press.

García-Galera, M.C., del-Hoyo-Hurtado, M., & Fernández-Muñoz, C. (2014). Jóvenes comprometidos en la Red: el papel de las redes sociales en la participación social activa [Engaged Youth in Internet. The Role of Social Networks in Social Active Participation]. Comunicar, 22(43), 35-43. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3916/C43-2014-03

Gil-de-Zúñiga, H., Jung, N., & Valenzuela, S. (2012). Social Media use for News and Individuals’ Social Capital, Civic Engagement and Political Participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 17(3), 319-336. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2012.01574.x

Harlow, S., & Guo, L. (2014). Will the Revolution be Tweeted or Facebooked? Using Digital Communication Tools in Immigrant Activism. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(3), 463-478. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12062

Hayes, A.F. (2013). Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis: A Regression-based Approach. New York: The Guilford Press.

Houston, J.B., Hawthorne, J., Spialek, M.L., Greenwood, M., & McKinney, M. S. (2013). Tweeting during Presidential Debates: Effect on Candidate Evaluations and Debate Attitudes. Argumentation and Advocacy, 49, 301-311.

Hughes, M.G., & al. (2014). Discrediting in a Message Board Forum: The Effects of Social Support and Attacks on Expertise and Trustworthiness. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(3), 325-341. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12077

Igartua, J.J. (2006). Métodos cuantitativos de investigación en comunicación. Barcelona: Bosch.

Kim, Y., Hsu, S.H., & Gil-de-Zúñiga, H. (2013). Influence of Social Media Use on Discussion Network Heterogeneity and Civic Engagement: The Moderating Role of Personality Traits. Journal of Communication, 63(3), 498-516. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12034

Kruikemeier, S. (2014). How Political Candidates Use Twitter and the Impact on Votes. Computers in Human Behavior, 34(C), 131-139. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.025

Lakoff, R.T. (1973). Language and Woman's Place. Language in Society, 2(1), 45-80. doi: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1017/S0047404500000051

Lee, E.J. (2013). Effectiveness of Politicians' soft Campaign on Twitter versus TV: Cognitive and Experiential Routes. Journal of Communication, 63, 953-974. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12049

Lee, E.J., & Oh, S.Y. (2012). To Personalize or Depersonalize? When and How Politicians’ Personalized Tweets Affect the Public’s Reactions. Journal of Communication, 62(6), 932-949. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01681.x

McCroskey, J.C., & Teven, J.J. (1999). Goodwill: A Reexamination of the Construct and its Measurement. Communications Monographs, 66(1), 90-103. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637759909376464

Mizokami, Y. (2001). Does ‘Women’s Language’ Really Exist? A Critical Assessment of Sex Difference Research in sociolinguistics. Multicultural Studies, 1, 141-59.

Mou, Y., Miller, M., & Fu, H. (2015). Evaluating a target on social media: From the Self-categorization Perspective. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 451-459. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.03.031

Mulac, A., Bradac, J., & Gibbons, P. (2001). Empirical Support for the Gender-as-culture Hypothesis. Human Communication Research, 27(1), 121-152. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2001.tb00778.x

Newcombe, N., & Arnkoff, D.B. (1979). Effects of Speech Style and Sex of the Speaker on Person Perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1293-1303. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.37.8.1293

Norris, P. (2000). A Virtuous Circle. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press.

Park, C.S. (2013). Does Twitter Motivate Involvement in Politics? Tweeting, Opinion Leadership, and Political Engagement. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1641-1648. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.01.044

Petty, R.E., & Cacioppo, J.T. (1986). Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Putnam, R.D. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Rodríguez-Polo, R.X. (2013). Bloqueo mediático, redes sociales y malestar ciudadano. Para entender el movimiento español del 15-M. Palabra Clave 16 (1), 45-68. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5294/pacla.2013.16.1.2

Shi, R., Messaris, P., & Cappella, J.N. (2014). Effects of Online Comments on Smokers' Perception of Antismoking Public Service Announcements. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(4), 975–990. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12057

Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The Social Psychology of Telecommunications. London: John Wiley.

Sparks, J.R., Areni, C.S., & Cox, K.C. (1998). An Investigation of the Effects of Language Style and Communication Modality on Persuasion. Communication Monographs, 64(2), 108-125. doi: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/03637759809376440

Sudweeks, S., Gudykunst, W.B., Ting-Tommey, S., & Nishida, T. (1990). Developmental Themes in Japanese-North American Interpersonal Relationships. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 14(2), 207-233. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(90)90006-I

Thomson, R., & Murachver, T. (2001). Predicting Gender from Electronic Discourse. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 193-208. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/014466601164812

Valenzuela, S., Park, N., & Kee, K.F. (2009). Is There Social Capital in a Social Network Site? Facebook Use and College Students' Life Satisfaction, Trust, and Participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(4), 875-901. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01474.x

Verba, S., Schlozman, K.L., & Brady, H.E. (1995). Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Walther, J. (1996). Computer-mediated Communication: Impersonal, Interpersonal, and Hyperpersonal Interaction. Communication Research, 23(1), 3-43. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/009365096023001001

Walther, J.B. (1992). Interpersonal Effects in Computer-mediated Interaction: A Relational Perspective. Communication Research, 19(1), 52-90. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/009365092019001003

Walther, J.B., Van-Der-Heide, B., Kim, S.Y., Westerman, D., & Tong, S.T. (2008). The Role of Friends’ Appearance and Behavior on Evaluations of Individuals on Facebook: Are We Known by the Company We Keep? Human Communication Research, 34, 28-49. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2007.00312.x

Westerman, D., Spence, P.R., & Van-Der-Heide, B. (2013). Social Media as Information Source: Recency of Updates and Credibility of Information. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(2), 171-183. doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12041

Xiao, R., & Tao, H. (2007). A Corpus-based Sociolinguistic Study of Amplifiers in British English. Sociolinguistic Studies, 1(2), 241-273. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/sols.v1i2.241

Zhou, L., Burgoon, J.K., Zhang, D., & Nunamaker, J.F. (2004). Language Dominance in Interpersonal Deception in Computer-mediated Communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 20(3), 381-402. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0747-5632(03)00051-7


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item