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Third-Person Effect and Social Networking: Implications for Online Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Communication

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Few studies have explored the direct influence of social networking websites (SNWs), and to the best of our knowledge, none have examined the indirect influence of SNWs on users and how that indirect influence leads to word-of-mouth related behaviors in SNWs. This study employs the theoretical framework of the third-person effect theory, which is grounded in psychology, to examine the indirect influence of SNWs and how that indirect influence may potentially contribute to marketing research and practice. Davison’s (1983) third-person effect (TPE) theory proposes that individuals tend to expect mass media to have a greater effect on others than on themselves. After the analysis of survey data, the current research first explores whether a third-person effect exists in the SNW context and if it does, how it differs from that in traditional media context. Based on theory and numerous empirical findings, the current research also investigates how the third-person effect varies with different referent “others”. Finally, based on the theoretical propositions of previous studies, this study links third-person effect to behavioral consequences related to word-of-mouth communication via SNWs. The results support all hypotheses. This work contributes to consumer psychology and word-of-mouth communication research, and generates implications for marketers targeting young consumers and/or those interested in stimulating word-of-mouth communication in the SNW context. Limitations are also addressed.
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53
Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
ird-Person Effect and Social Networking:
Implications for Online Marketing and Word-of-Mouth Communication
Jie Zhang, University of Texas—Austin
Terry Daugherty, The University of Akron
Abstract
Few studies have explored the direct influence of social networking websites
(SNWs), and to the best of our knowledge, none have examined the indirect influ-
ence of SNWs on users and how that indirect influence leads to word-of-mouth
related behaviors in SNWs. is study employs the theoretical framework of the
third-person effect theory, which is grounded in psychology, to examine the indi-
rect influence of SNWs and how that indirect influence may potentially contribute
to marketing research and practice. Davison’s (1983) third-person effect (TPE)
theory proposes that individuals tend to expect mass media to have a greater effect
on others than on themselves. After the analysis of survey data, the current re-
search first explores whether a third-person effect exists in the SNW context and if
it does, how it differs from that in traditional media context. Based on theory and
numerous empirical findings, the current research also investigates how the third-
person effect varies with different referent “others”. Finally, based on the theoretical
propositions of previous studies, this study links third-person effect to behavioral
consequences related to word-of-mouth communication via SNWs. e results
support all hypotheses. is work contributes to consumer psychology and word-
of-mouth communication research, and generates implications for marketers tar-
geting young consumers and/or those interested in stimulating word-of-mouth
communication in the SNW context. Limitations are also addressed.
Keywords: Third person effect, social networking, word-of-mouth communication
Introduction
Social networking websites (SNWs)
have emerged as an increasingly in-
fluential media platform. As of 2007,
there were 110 million active users on
MySpace and 90 million active us-
ers on Facebook all testifying to the
booming popularity of SNWs (Boyd
and Ellison 2007). Unlike traditional
media, SNWs are user-generated
and user-centered. SNWs attract us-
ers by allowing them to “construct a
public or semi-public profile within
a bounded system,” establish connec-
tions and maintain interactions with
others in the system (Boyd and Elli-
son 2007).
Davison’s (1983) third-person effect
(TPE) theory proposes that individu-
als tend to expect mass media to have a
greater effect on others than on them-
selves. In other words, individuals may
anticipate that the media will make the
least impact on “me” (the first person),
a moderate impact on “you” (the sec-
ond person; i.e., close friends or imme-
diate family), and the greatest impact
on “them” (the third person; i.e., dis-
tant relatives or general friends) (Wan,
Faber, and Fung 2003).
Some researchers have begun to
study how the use of SNWs is bring-
ing changes to communication pat-
terns and interpersonal relationships
(Byne 2007; Hargittai 2007; Hum-
phreys 2007) but to the best of our
knowledge, none have examined how
users perceive the effect of SNWs.
Given the central role of users in the
context of SNWs, the current research
employs the theoretical framework of
the TPE (Davison 1983) to examine
users’ perceptions of SNWs’ effect on
themselves and on other users. TPE
hypothesizes that individuals perceive
media to have different effects on
themselves versus on others (i.e., the
perceptual component) and that such
perceptual discrepancy could lead to
certain outcomes (i.e., the behavioral
component): either their own attitude
54Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
or behavioral changes (Gunther and
Storey 2003) or other communicative
actions (Sun, Shen, Pan 2008b). As
word-of-mouth communication via
SNWs holds appealing marketing po-
tential, studying the indirect effects of
SNWs through users’ perceptions has
practical implications for marketers as
well.
is study examines the TPE hy-
pothesis with a SNW context. Based
on the analysis of survey data, this
study explores the following key ques-
tions:
whether TPE exists in the 1.
SNW context and if it does,
how the TPE in the SNW
context differs from traditional
media context;
how such perceptual bias varies 2.
with different referent “others”;
and, finally, whether such per-3.
ceptual differentials potentially
lead to behavioral outcomes.
Third-Person Effect and
Social Networking Websites
TPE has been demonstrated in a
wide range of media contexts, includ-
ing pornography (Wu and Koo 2001),
public relations (Elder, Douglas, and
Sutton 2006), advertising (DeLorme,
Huh, and Reid 2007), marketing (Gri-
er and Brumbaugh 2007), and new
media (Banning and Sweetser 2007).
e TPE, together with other forms of
perceptual phenomenon widely stud-
ied in social psychology, such as “naïve
realism (Pronin, Gilovich, and Ross
2004), is a psychological tendency to
perceive oneself as more intelligent,
objective and less prone to bias and
error in reaction to the surrounding
world. ough no prior study has ex-
amined TPE in the context of SNWs
specifically, theoretical explanations
for the occurrence of TPE proposed in
previous research, as reviewed below,
suggest that such perceptual discrep-
ancy can exist in the context of SNWs
as well.
One widely accepted explanation is
that the perceptual bias results from a
downward social comparison process.
Social comparison is a prevalent psy-
chological process, as individuals tend
to use others as a yardstick to deter-
mine their position in society, derive
self-conception, acquire self-esteem,
and make sense of themselves in their
surroundings (Park and Salmon 2005).
According to the social comparison
theory (Festinger 1954), such compar-
ison is often downward, as individu-
als are inclined to think that they are
smarter, better off, and more fortunate
than most other people. When people
evaluate the potential effect of media,
they also estimate themselves as much
more resistant to media influence (Park
and Salmon 2005). SNWs provide an
environment conducive to social com-
parison. e networking experience
provides a platform for users to com-
pare against each other, and confirm
or even enhance their self-identity. For
example, someone is depressed about
not finding a date. When the person
compares his or her dating experience
with peers in a downward fashion via
SNWs, connecting to others with sim-
ilar anxiety about dating may alleviate
the person’s depression or even enhance
his or her confidence in continuing to
look for a date. Given the innate ten-
dency for downward comparison, it
is plausible that SNW users will also
regard themselves as more intelligent,
capable users than other people.
Another explanation for TPE is
ego-involvement. Perloff (1989) pro-
poses that greater ego-involvement
with an issue tilts audiences toward
greater self-other perceptual bias.
Twenge (2006) found that young users
of user-generated media are narcissistic
and ego-involved in general. She also
found that the more someone blogs,
the more that person becomes ego-
involved and perceives his or her blog
to be important (Gale 2007). Banning
and Sweester (2007) also argued that
ego involvement accounts for the TPE
on blogs and found strong support. In
SNWs, many user-generated discus-
sions and statements, consciously or
unconsciously, are driven by and serve
to strengthen one’s ego involvement
(Gale 2007). erefore, it is reasonable
to believe that TPE also exists with
SNW users. One other related expla-
nation is that people display stronger
TPE when they believe they have more
expertise on certain issues, especially
subjective matters such as personal
opinions on the choice of color for
clothing (Salwen and Driscoll 1997).
is “self-knowledge” explanation
highlights individuals’ cognitive pro-
pensity to regard themselves as more
knowledgeable and better informed
and thus deny their susceptibility to
influence (Salwen and Driscoll 1997;
Salwen et al. 2002). e subjective
matters are defined as subjective ex-
periences, likes or dislikes, views, and
ideas. SNWs are, in large part, struc-
tured with subjective matters about us-
ers. Every user has a personal opinion
about those subjective matters and pre-
sumes that he or she knows better than
others e.g. “I think Jessica Alba’s nose
is fake!” “I think Jessica Alba’s nose is
real!” (Quotes from users’ comments
on Jessica Alba in Facebook). TPE has
been shown to be a robust phenom-
enon across numerous media contexts
(see the recent meta-analysis by Sun,
Pan, and Shen 2008a). Based on the
above theoretical explanations and
previous empirical findings, the current
research proposes that SNW users may
also display self-other perceptual bias.
Moreover, given the preceding dis-
cussion that SNWs offer a more con-
ducive setting for social comparison,
with users mostly being ego-involved
youngsters and user-generated content
mostly being subjective, the magnitude
of the TPE on SNWs may be stronger
than traditional media. us, the fol-
lowing hypotheses are posited:
H1A: Respondents tend to believe that
SNWs have a greater impact on oth-
ers than on themselves.
H1B: Respondents tend to display a
greater third-person effect on SNWs
than on traditional media.
55
Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
Different Referent
Others” and Third-Person
Effect
Social Distance Corollary
Self-other perceptual bias does not
stay the same across different condi-
tions. One important influencing fac-
tor that has been discussed in previous
literature is social distance between self
and the referent others, as summarized
in social distance corollary (Cohen et al.
1988). e greater the social distance,
the larger the TPE ( Duck and Mul-
lin 1995; Elder, Douglas and Sutton
2006). e theoretical reason for this
conclusion is that people usually per-
ceive socially close others as smart and
as knowledgeable as themselves (i.e.,
husband) while socially distant others
are always more gullible and suscep-
tible. A number of studies found that
TPE increases as “others” vary from so-
cially close to socially distant (Banning
and Sweetser 2007; Elder et al. 2006;
Paek et al. 2005; Salwen et al. 2002;
Wan Faber and Fung 2003). Cohen et
al. (1988) suggested a linear increase in
the TPE magnitude as the hypothetical
others were changed from a relatively
small, specific, and close circle of people
to a large, vague, and distant group (i.e.,
other Stanford students versus other
Californians versus public at large).
Gibbon and Durkin (1995) reported
that the TPE increased as “others”
grew more socially distant from family
members, to neighbors, to members of
the state, and to others in general. Wan
et al. (2003) also reported that respon-
dents tended to overestimate the influ-
ence of thin female models in advertis-
ing on distant others as compared to
friends and romantic partners. As the
relationship between social distance
and TPE predicts, the following hy-
pothesis is presented:
H2: Respondents tend to display a
greater third-person effect on SNWs
when “others” are defined as distant
from self (i.e., most college men; most
college women) than when “others”
are defined as close to self (i.e., female
friends; male friends; siblings or cous-
ins, the important other).
Gender
e magnitude of the TPE is also
found to vary with the gender of per-
ceived others. Duck, Terry and Hogg
(1995) found that respondents of both
genders perceived women as more in-
fluenced by ads than men; when com-
paring self to women, a stronger TPE
emerged (cited in Wan et al. 2003). Lo
and Wei (2002) indicated that females
were perceived to be more daunted by
the 9/11 tragedy than males and there-
fore respondents displayed a stronger
TPE when others were described as
females.
Sociolinguistic theory suggests that
men and women have different un-
derlying communication objectives.
Women’s communication objectives
are mainly cooperation, social support,
and networking (Kilbourne and Weeks
1997), while men’s chief communica-
tion goals are characterized as increas-
ing social standing (Tannen 1995).
Gefen and Ridings (2005) found that
women generally give and seek social
support online. Awad and Ragowsky
(2008) found that women prefer re-
sponsive online mechanisms more
than men because the responsiveness
from others may increase a sense of
social support. Anecdotes also showed
that women like to reach a circle of
friends in order to gain social support.
Hence, women may be perceived as
ideal SNW users and susceptible to
the influence of SNWs. erefore, the
following hypothesis is proposed:
H3A: Respondents from both genders
tend to display a greater third-person
effect on SNWs between self and
perceived female “others” (i.e., female
friends; most college women) than be-
tween self and perceived male “others”
(i.e., male friends; most college men).
A number of studies have found that
female respondents perceived males as
more influenced by controversial me-
dia content such as violence and por-
nography (Andsager 1992; Youn, Wan,
and Faber 2001; Lo and Wei 2002).
ese findings reflect that the gender
of a respondent may be related to the
size of the TPE as well. Men enjoy the
“in control” feeling during their online
activities (Awad and Ragowsky 2008).
As compared to female respondents,
male respondents may perceive them-
selves to have more control over their
online activities such as SNW use and
be less “controlled by SNWs. Male
respondents may also perceive females
to be more susceptible to the influ-
ence of SNWs because females may
enjoy the networking experience from
SNWs and let the networking experi-
ence affect their own attitudes or be-
haviors. Hence, male respondents may
perceive a larger TPE between self and
perceived female “others” than female
respondents. Hence, the following hy-
pothesis is raised:
H3B: Male respondents tend to display
a greater third-person effect on SNWs
between self and perceived female
“others” (i.e., female friends; most col-
lege women) than female respondents.
On the contrary, female respon-
dents may not overestimate perceived
male others. Female respondents may
even display a reversed TPE between
self and perceived male others, with
self being more affected by SNWs
than male others. erefore, the fol-
lowing hypothesis is presented:
H3C: Female respondents tend to
display a smaller third-person effect
on SNWs between self and perceived
“…people usually perceive socially close others as smart
and as knowledgeable as themselves …while socially
distant others are always more gullible and susceptible.”
56Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
male “others” (i.e., male friends; most
college men) than male respondents.
Female respondents may even perceive
self to be more affected by SNWs than
perceived male “others”.
Behavioral Consequences
of Third Person Perception
TPE, although an intriguing percep-
tual phenomenon in itself, has practical
importance when such a psychological
bias leads to actions. A recent meta-
analysis by Xu and Gonzenbach (2008)
calls for an expansion of the behavioral
consequence spectrum of the TPE. Pre-
vious literature centered on the behav-
ioral consequence of the TPE in nega-
tive media or mediated messages such
as pornography, violence, and gambling
advertising, and linked TPE to the be-
havioral intention to support censorship
(i.e., Chia, Lu, and McLeod 2004; Lo
and Wei 2002; Xu and Gonzenbach
2008; Yang 2005). e motives for re-
spondents to indicate pro-censorship
intentions were that respondents per-
ceived others to be vulnerable and re-
spondents should take actions to pro-
tect others from harmful media content
(Yang 2005).
Little is known, however, about the
perceptual bias-behavior linkage for
non-harmful message topics (Park and
Salmon 2005). Sun et al. (2008b) pro-
vided a theoretical explanation to the
linkage between TPE and behavioral
intentions in different contexts of so-
cial influence. e perceived social in-
fluence of messages can be organized
into three abstract levels: socially unde-
sirable, socially desirable, and mixed or
ambiguous. In respect to socially unde-
sirable messages, a typical TPE should
emerge in that others are perceived to
be more gullible to those messages. e
presumed TPE will lead to restrictive
behaviors such as regulating Internet
pornography. For media messages with
desirable social influence, a reversed
TPE may emerge as individuals tend
to show smartness by appearing to be
vigilant of desirable media messages.
Promotional behaviors such as advo-
cating for blood donation are assumed
to come forward in reaction to the
reversed TPE. Media messages with
vague or mixed social influence will
also first trigger a TPE as a reflection
of perceptual disparity tendency and
then lead to corrective behaviors such
as removing some erotic scenes from
a reality TV show but not necessarily
boycotting the show. Anecdotes indi-
cate that most media or mediated mes-
sages fall into the category with vague
or mixed social influence. e perceived
overall social influence of SNWs is as-
sumed to be mixed or vague.
Two studies which examined the
behavioral consequence of the TPE
on media or mediated messages with
mixed or vague social influence found
that the TPE negatively predicted be-
havioral intentions such as supporting
the company, preferring the company’s
products, or voting in a presidential
election (Park and Salmon 2005; Ban-
ning 2006). eir findings may be re-
lated to Sun et al.’s (2008b) proposi-
tion that media or mediated messages
with mixed or vague social influence
should lead to corrective behaviors. For
example, when respondents regard the
presidential election news as neither
socially desirable nor undesirable, the
TPE still emerges and other people
are assumed to turn out to vote. Such
a perception leads to respondents’ in-
dication of corrective behaviors such
as not turning out to vote in order to
counterbalance others’ turning out. e
corrective behavior intention is usually
embodied in respondents’ indication of
not performing the given task (e.g., I
will not turn out to vote) rather than
restricting a certain incident (e.g., I
will vote for the candidate who is not
favored by news reports).
Banning (2006) provided another
explanation. He inferred that when the
election news was perceived to be non-
harmful and mixed or vague in social
influence, respondents might think that
susceptible other people were likely to
do the right thing. In this situation, in-
stead of taking actions to protect oth-
ers, respondents may indicate behav-
ioral intentions that are different from
presumed others. For example, when
massive others are presumed to vote, I
stay home, showing some individuality
or uniqueness. Such a corollary may be
plausible for the dominant individual-
istic culture in the U.S. (Perloff 2002).
Researchers note that the behav-
ioral consequence of the TPE should
be related to others. In other words,
when respondents consider how to act,
the perception of others should consti-
tute a serious motivational factor (i.e.,
Tewksbury, Moy, and Weis 2004; Jens-
en and Hurley 2005). Word-of-mouth
(WOM) communication usually in-
vites thoughts on others. Some people
engage in WOM communication to
seek other people’s opinions on prod-
ucts or companies. Other people first
consider the characteristics of poten-
tial WOM message receivers and then
deliver WOM messages to the relevant
receiver (Allsop, Bassett, and Hoskins
2007). is study employs two behav-
ioral intentions related to WOM com-
munication via SNWs.
Based on Sun et al.’s (2008b) prop-
osition of corrective behavior and Ban-
ning’s (2006) corollary of individuality
maintenance, it is predicted that there
is a negative relationship between the
TPE and behavioral intentions related
to WOM communication via SNWs.
erefore, the following hypotheses
are developed:
H4A: Respondents with a higher degree
of third-person effect are less likely to
visit SNWs recommended by friends.
H4B: Respondents with a higher degree
of third-person effect are less likely
to search out and discuss gift ideas
through social networking Websites.
Method
Participants
Survey questionnaires were admin-
istered via an online participant pool
to a convenient sample of 245 under-
graduate students enrolled at a major
southwestern university. In return for
57
Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
their participation, respondents re-
ceived course credit. e use of a stu-
dent sample was deemed acceptable
given that SNWs largely attract college
age adults with as much as 85 percent
of college students logging into SNWs
weekly (Arrington 2005). Of the 245
respondents, 58 percent are female and
42 percent are male, with an average
age of 20.6.
On average, respondents spent 2.86
hours on SNWs on a typical day. Re-
spondents were required to identify
which of the top ten SNWs they have
visited in the last six months or for
which they have a user account. Nine-
ty-seven percent of the respondents
visited Facebook in the last six months
and 93 percent of the respondents had
a Facebook user account. Eighty-sev-
en percent of the respondents visited
MySpace in the last six months and
53 percent of the respondents had a
MySpace user account. More than one
third of the respondents also went to
Xanga in the last six months and about
11 percent of the respondents had
a Xanga user account. Less than 10
percent of the respondents indicated
having visited or having a user account
with other top SNWs. e results are
very consistent with Hitwise’s 2007
survey results of general SNW users.
According to Hitwise (2007), which
is an online tracking research company
that monitors trends, about 91 percent
of general American SNW users go to
MySpace and Facebook.
Measures
To assess respondents’ TPE to-
wards SNWs, parallel questions about
media effects on self vs. others were
asked. e first question asked how
much a respondent thought SNWs
in general have affected self, and the
following questions asked how much
the respondent thought SNWs in
general have affected different ref-
erent others. For each question, re-
spondents indicated the degree of
being affected on an 11-point scale
bounded by “none=0” and “greatest
possible effect=10”. Questions were
asked about six specific others: their
female friends, male friends, current/
past important other, sibling(s), most
college women, and most college men
(Wan et al. 2003). For the purpose of
testing hypothesis H2, scores on four
specific others (female friends, male
friends, the important other, siblings)
were averaged to create an indicator
of the perceived impact of SNWs on
“close others” (Cronbach’s alpha=.81).
Similarly, the estimates on “most col-
lege women” and “most college men”
was averaged to obtain the perceived
effect on “distant others” (Cronbach’s
alpha=.87).
Respondents were asked to estimate
the impact of TV, print media, and ra-
dio on one’s self and others. e self
scores for all traditional media (TV,
print media, and radio) were averaged
to create the estimate of the effect of
traditional media on self (Cronbach’s
alpha=.74). A set of averaged others
scores for traditional media was ob-
tained through the same procedure
(Cronbach’s alpha=.75).
To examine the behavioral con-
sequences related to word-of-mouth
communication via SNWs, respon-
dents were asked to indicate their
agreement with the following state-
ments: “Even if my friends start to vis-
it a newly invented social networking
website, I won’t begin to visit that web-
site” and “I search out and discuss gift
ideas through social networking web-
sites.” Both questions are on 11-point
scales (strongly disagree=0 to strongly
agree=10). e first measure was re-
versely coded in statistical analyses.
Results
H1A stated that respondents tend
to believe SNWs have a greater im-
pact on others than on themselves.
To test this hypothesis, a paired t-test
was computed. A strong TPE (greater
impact on others than self) emerged
(t=10.37, df=244, p <.001; Impact on
others: M=7.55, N=245, SD =2.18; Im-
pact on self: M=6.11, N=245, SD=2.64).
us, H1A was supported.
e differences between self and dif-
ferent referent others were compared
Table 1
Third-Person Effect on Different Others and on Different Media
Post Hoc Pairwise Comparison Results of One-Way Repeated Measure ANOVA
Panel A: Third-Person Effect on Different Others
Different Others N Mean SD
Third-Person
Perception
Mean
Third-Person
Perception SD p
Female friends 190 7.59 2.14 1.72 0.16 0.000 ***
Male friends 190 6.12 2.03 0.25 0.16 0.133
Siblings 190 5.71 2.28 -0.16 0.19 0.394
Important other 190 5.70 2.78 -0.17 0.22 0.421
College women 190 7.64 1.94 1.76 0.16 0.000 ***
College men 190 6.58 2.13 0.71 0.17 0.000 ***
Panel B: Third-Person Effect on Different Media
Media N Self
Mean
Self
SD
Others
Mean
Others
SD
Third-Person
Perception
Mean
Third-Person
Perception
SD
p
SNWs 245 6.11 2.64 7.55 2.18 1.44 0.14 -
Traditional media 245 5.32 1.87 6.44 1.67 1.12 0.11 0.023 **
TV 245 6.61 2.27 7.96 1.81 1.35 0.13 0.528
Print media 245 5.32 2.27 6.30 2.07 0.98 0.15 0.011 **
Radio 245 4.04 2.38 5.07 2.24 1.02 0.15 0.017 **
Signicance: * p<0.10, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01
58Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
by using a one-way repeated measure
ANOVA. e overall F value was sig-
nificant [F (6, 184) =50.48, p <.001].
e post hoc pairwise comparisons of
the one-way repeated measure ANO-
VA indicated that the TPE emerged
when others were described as female
friends, college women, and college
men, while the differences between the
impact of SNWs on self and on male
friends, sibling(s), or the important
other were not significant (Table 1A).
H1B predicted SNWs display a
greater TPE than traditional me-
dia and was supported by a repeated
measure ANOVA [F (3, 242) =2.88,
p <.02] (Table 1B). Furthermore, the
post hoc pairwise comparisons of the
repeated measure ANOVA indicated
that SNWs displayed a greater TPE
than print media and radio but not TV
(Table 1B).
H2 posited that when others are
socially closer to respondents (i.e., fe-
male friends, male friends, the impor-
tant other, siblings), the TPE index
will be smaller than that when “others”
are phrased in a more socially distant
term (i.e., most college men and most
college women). Self, close others, and
distant others were compared using
repeated measure ANOVA. e re-
sult supported H2. As shown in Table
2, the respondents perceived socially
distant others to be more susceptible
to the influence of SNWs than close
others [F (2, 188) =49.30, p <.001].
Moreover, the polynomial analysis of
the repeated measure ANOVA sug-
gested a significant linear increase in
the TPE magnitude as the perceived
others were changed from close others
to distant others [F (1, 189) =58.20, p
<.001]. However, the polynomial anal-
ysis also suggested a weak possibility of
quadratic pattern [F (1, 189) =4.58, p
<.05]. Figure 1 presents the pattern of
social distance corollary.
H3A proposed that respondents
from both genders tend to display a
greater TPE on SNWs between self
and perceived female “others” (i.e.,
female friends; most college women)
than between self and perceived male
“others” (i.e., male friends; most col-
lege men). H3B stated that male re-
spondents tend to display a greater
TPE on SNWs between self and
perceived female “others” than female
respondents. H3C contended that
female respondents tend to display a
smaller TPE on SNWs between self
and perceived male “others” than male
respondents. Female respondents may
even perceive self to be more affected
by SNWs than perceived male others.
A two-way repeated measure ANOVA
was computed, with the gender of per-
ceived others (i.e., female friends; most
college women, male friends; most col-
lege men) as a within-subject variable
and the gender of a respondent as a be-
tween-subject factor. e overall F val-
ue was significant [F (1, 241) =230.68,
p <.001]. e TPE between self and
perceived female “others” was signifi-
cantly larger than that between self
and perceived male “others”. H3A was
supported. e interaction (the gender
of a respondent and perceived gender
of others) was insignificant [F (1, 241)
=1.77, p =.185]. e between-subjects
effect (the gender of a respondent) of
the two-way repeated measure ANO-
VA was significant [F (1, 241) =15.23,
p <.001]. Male respondents displayed a
greater TPE towards SNWs between
self and perceived female others and
between self and perceived male oth-
ers than female respondents. H3B was
supported. H3C was partially sup-
ported. Although female respondents
perceived a very small gap between self
and perceived male others (M of the
TPE=.10), the result did not indicate
a reversed TPE, with self being more
affected by SNWs than perceived male
others (Table 3).
H4A and H4B suggested that peo-
ple with a greater level of the TPE are
less likely to visit a new SNW recom-
mended by friends and to search out
and discuss gift ideas through social
networking Websites. Two multiple
regressions were run with respon-
dents’ gender and average hours spent
on SNWs on a typical day as control
variables. Tables 4A and 4B present
the results. Both predictions were sup-
ported: TPE was a significant predic-
tor of the behavioral outcome in each
case [H4A: F (3, 241) =5.86, p <.01;
H4B: F (3, 241) =4.63, p <.01]. Nei-
ther respondents’ gender nor average
hours spent on SNWs in a typical day
Table 2
Third-Person Effect on Socially Close Others Versus Socially Distant Others
Post Hoc Pairwise Comparison Results of One-Way Repeated Measure ANOVA
N Mean SD Third-Person Perception Mean Third-Person Perception SD p
Self 190 5.87 2.57 -
Close others 190 6.28 1.87 Close others - self = 0.41 Close others - self = 0.15 0.009***
Distant others 190 7.11 1.93 Distant others - self = 1.24 Distant others - self = 0.16 0.000***
Distant others - close others = 0.83 Distant others - close others = 0.09 0.000***
Signicance: * p<0.10, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01
Figure 1
Polynomial Analysis Graph of Self,
Close Others, and Distant Others
Estimated Means of Measure
7.2
7.0
6.8
6.6
6.4
6.2
6.0
5.8 1 2 3
Self
Close Others
Distant Others
Estimated Marginal Means
59
Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
was related to respondents’ behavioral
intentions. e TPE did negatively af-
fect respondents’ behavioral intentions
related to word-of-mouth communi-
cation via SNWs. H4A and H4B were
both supported.
Implications, Future
Research Suggestions,
and Limitations
H1A, which stated that respondents
tend to believe that SNWs have a great-
er impact on others than on themselves,
was supported. e psychological dis-
crepancy of perceiving self as less sus-
ceptible and others as more susceptible
to the media influence was confirmed in
the SNW context for the first time. Fu-
ture research needs to validate whether
the psychological discrepancy is caused
by SNW users’ ego involvement, self-
knowledge, and/or downward social
comparisons with others.
It is important for researchers and
marketers to understand TPE since
the construct is firmly grounded in
psychology and investigating the phe-
nomenon may contribute to consumer
psychology. Moreover, though analyz-
ing the direct influence of SNWs is im-
portant, this study provides another re-
search avenue aimed at examining the
indirect influence of SNWs through
users’ perceptions on how much others
are impacted by the media. Such an in-
direct influence is noteworthy and this
study addresses the literature gap.
e TPE is assumed to be salient
when the target consumers are young
people who are often ego-defensive or
even narcissistic. ere are many such
audiences in the US market, according
to the book “Generation Me” (Twenge
2007), which profiles American young
people born in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. e
phenomenon of the TPE deserves at-
tention from marketers, particularly
those who market to young people via
SNWs.
e TPE may create an illusion of
being in control, because as compared
to others, a user may feel smarter and
less susceptible. Although word-of-
mouth communication occurs between
SNW users, marketers should build a
well-planned campaign to stimulate
word-of-mouth communication among
users. Marketers may consider using
certain words, phrases, and/or pictures
acting alone or in combination in their
campaigns to augment the TPE. It may
prompt an SNW users’ in control feel-
ing, which is conducive to stimulating
WOM communication. For example,
Sears stimulates female Facebook users
to generate word-of-mouth about the
prom dresses offered by Sears. Instead
of pursuing each individual female
Facebook user, Sears invites all female
Facebook users to “help others on their
prom dress choice from Sears”. An in-
dividual user may think “I know exactly
what kind of prom dress I want, but
maybe I can help others pick the right
dress since they may be more influenced
by marketers such as Sears.”
H1B, which predicted SNWs dis-
play a greater TPE than traditional
media, was supported. e irony is
that as compared to traditional media,
though user-generated media involve
many user interactions, users are even
less sure of how much others are really
affected by SNWs and tend to over-
estimate others’ responsiveness to the
media at a great level. e explanation
could be that although there is a high
degree of interactions among SNW
users, the interaction topics are too
diversified to accurately estimate the
influence.
Table 3
Third-Person Effect Perceived by Male and Female Respondents
N M SD
Third-person effect between self and female others
(i.e., female friends and most college women)
Female respondents 140 1.29 1.87
Male respondents 103 2.45 2.41
Third-person effect between self and male others
(i.e., male friends and most college men)
Female respondents 140 0.10 2.10
Male respondents 103 1.03 2.42
Table 4
Regression of Behavioral Consequence on Third-Person Effect
Panel A: “Even if my friends start to visit a newly invented website, I won’t begin to visit that
website.Ӡ
Number of observations = 244, R2 = 0.068, Adjusted R2 = 0.056
Variable Coefcient Beta
Coefcient Standard Error t p
Gender -0.50 -0.11 0.29 -1.69 0.092*
Averaged hours spend on
SNWs in a typical day 0.09 0.10 0.06 1.47 0.142
Third-person perception
(others-self) -0.17 -0.16 0.07 -2.30 0.022**
Panel B: “I search out and discuss gift ideas through social networking websites.”
Number of observations = 244, R2 = 0.054, Adjusted R2 = 0.043
Variable Coefcient Beta
Coefcient Standard Error t p
Gender -0.14 -0.03 0.32 -0.43 0.671
Averaged hours spend on
SNWs in a typical day -0.01 -0.01 0.07 -0.14 0.890
Third-person perception
(others-self) -0.27 -0.23 0.08 -3.34 0.001***
Signicance: * p<0.10, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01
Respondents’ indication on this statement was reversely coded in this statistical analysis.
60Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
Interestingly, respondents indicated
that they were influenced by TV and
SNWs and they perceived others to
be even far more affected by those two
media types. Respondents reported
themselves not to be much influenced
by print media and radio, and they as-
sumed others to be only slightly more
affected by print media and radio than
themselves. is pattern supports the
proposition of some researchers that
the more popular the media or messag-
es are, the greater the TPE (i.e., Eich-
holz 1999), although the explanation
for such a positive correlation is lack-
ing in the literature and in this study.
It awaits future study to explore. Some
Facebook campaigns aimed at stimu-
lating WOM communication provide
popular products such as iPhones or
iPods as rewards. Ties into popular
products/brands may create attention
and build a strong third-person effect
as well in the SNW context. It is wor-
thy of consideration for marketers.
H2, which posited that the TPE
will be smaller when others are social-
ly close than when others are socially
distant, was also supported. e TPE
is stronger with a large group of per-
ceived “others”. eoretically, the TPE
research provides a new avenue for
scholars to understand perceived group
influence on individuals. For marketers,
electronic WOM communication no
longer occurs between a few people. A
SNW user may post a word-of-mouth
message on a discussion board for many
to see. erefore, the size of the TPE in
electronic word-of-mouth communica-
tion can be leveraged by choosing the
suitable communication mode ranging
from one-to-one (only take close oth-
ers into consideration) to one-to-many
(take distant others into consideration
as well).
e confirmation of H3A, H3B,
and H3C indicates that the TPE
does vary with the gender of per-
ceived others and the gender of a user
in the SNW context. Specifically, per-
ceived female others amplify the TPE
and the TPE is more prominent with
male users. e results suggest that the
gender variable should be an impor-
tant control variable for future TPE
research on SNWs. Although males
exhibit a greater TPE toward females
in an SNW, it is unclear if this persists
with particular consumer messages.
For example, brands such as Victoria’s
Secret stimulate SNW users to gen-
erate WOM communication about
Valentine’s Day gifts. In this case, it is
still unclear which gender will be per-
ceived as more affected and whether
there is an interaction between the
gender of the perceived others and the
gender of a user. is study provides a
baseline for future research to consid-
er placing the gender variable on TPE
research in a specific SNW context.
Marketers and researchers should also
attempt to relate the gender impact
on the TPE to consumption behavior
(i.e., Will males perceive females to
be more affected by a Victoria’s Secret
Valentine’s Day advertisement and be
encouraged to purchase the advertised
item?)
e results of H4A and H4B were
consistent with Sun et al.’s (2008b)
and Banning’s (2006) theoretical
propositions and empirical findings of
previous studies (i.e., Banning 2006;
Park and Salmon 2005). Research-
ers and marketers should bear a few
things in mind to link the perceptual
bias to behavioral consequences in the
SNW context. First, in order to trig-
ger the TPE and relate it to behavioral
consequences, the behavioral intention
should be other-regarding; WOM
communication behavior complies.
Second, respondents’ average hours
spent on SNWs on a typical day were
insignificant to predict their behav-
ioral consequences. It indicates that for
some behaviors that invite the percep-
tion of others’ attitudes or behaviors,
TPE, rather than individual involve-
ment or media use, is the driving force
of those behaviors. Respondents did
consider the TPE before forming a
behavioral intention related to WOM
communication.
Finally, though respondents did not
indicate the behavioral intentions in
a positive direction, the negative rela-
tionship between the TPE and the be-
havioral consequences, to some degree,
reflected Sun et al.’s (2008b) and Ban-
ning’s (2006) theoretical propositions.
e general social influence of SNWs
is assumed to be ambiguous or mixed
(i.e., a TV reality show. Respondents
indicated corrective behaviors of not
engaging in WOM communication
via SNWs in order to rectify the per-
ceived phenomenon that other users
Table 5
Summary of Hypotheses
Hypotheses Statistical Analysis
H1A: Existence of Third-Person Effect on SNWs t-test (t = 10.37, df = 244, p < 0.001)*** Supported
H1B: Magnitude Difference from Traditional Media Repeated measure ANOVA [F (3,242) = 2.88, p < 0.02]** Supported
H2: Social Distance and Third-Person Effect Repeated measure ANOVA [F (2,188) = 49.30, p < 0.001]*** Supported
H3A: Gender of Perceived “Others” and Third-Person Effect Repeated measure ANOVA [F (1,241) = 230.68, p < 0.001]*** Supported
H3B and H3C: Gender of Respondents and Third-Person Effect Repeated measure ANOVA [F (1,241) == 15.23, p < 0.001]***
Insignicant interaction [F (1,241) = 1.77, p = 0.185] Supported
H4A: Following Friends to a New SNW and Third-Person Effect Multiple regression [F (3,241) = 5.86, p < 0.01]** Supported
H4B: Discussing Gift Ideas and Third-Person Effect Multiple regression [F (3,241) = 4.68, p < 0.01]** Supported
Signicance: * p<0.10, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01
61
Fall 2009 • Vol. 24, No. 2
Zhang and Daugherty
are more affected by SNWs and oth-
ers will by and large engage in WOM
communication via SNWs. Future
studies should first measure whether
the general social influence of SNWs
is perceived as ambiguous or mixed,
and then experiment to build a causal
relationship between the ambiguous
or mixed social influence and correc-
tive behaviors in relation to WOM
communication in the SNW context.
ough this study echoes Sun et al.’s
(2008b) theoretical propositions and
provides a possibility of corrective be-
havior in relation to WOM commu-
nication, marketers should consider
the findings with the caution that a
specific campaign in SNWs may have
a positive or negative social influence
and therefore may elicit restrictive or
promotional behaviors in relation to
WOM communication. Future studies
should focus on the relationship be-
tween the positive social influence of
a campaign and promotional behaviors
in relation to word-of-mouth commu-
nication, which would directly benefit
marketers.
Another theoretical explanation
for the negative relationship between
the TPE and the behavioral conse-
quences in relation to word-of-mouth
communication is Banning’s (2006)
individuality maintenance. Future re-
search should also attempt to build a
causal relationship between his corol-
lary and the behavioral consequences.
If his corollary is a significant causal
factor of the negative relationship, the
research on TPE and its behavioral
consequences may be more valuable in
a collectivistic cultural background, as
people with that background are less
sensitive to individuality maintenance.
In the U.S. market, marketers may ei-
ther target SNW users with less ten-
dency to maintain individuality or em-
phasize the smartness or uniqueness
of others partaking in word-of-mouth
communication in order to rectify the
negative relationship between the TPE
and the behavioral consequences.
Limitations
A few limitations of this study are
noteworthy. is study is based on a
convenient college student sample. e
results and implications for this study
should be restrained to college student
SNW users. However, the most recent
meta-analysis by Sun et al.’s (2008a)
suggests that neither a non-probabi-
listic sample nor the student popula-
tion significantly affects the findings of
the TPE. is study only supported a
strong TPE on SNWs in general. e
TPE on specific commercial content
in SNWs, such as brand profile pages,
may vary from the findings in this study.
Although the findings of the TPE
magnitude differences between SNWs
and traditional media are interesting
and worth further exploring in future
studies, one shortcoming of this study
is that the comparison is on the general
level of media types (e.g., SNWs ver-
sus TV). ough previous studies also
provide similar cross-media compari-
sons at the general level, a comparison
of specific media content (e.g., a SNW
banner versus a TV commercial) may
generate more direct implications for
marketers and researchers. Both Sun
et al.’s (2008b) theoretical propositions
and Banning’s (2006) corollary of in-
dividuality maintenance are theoreti-
cally assumed rather than measured in
this study. erefore, this study can-
not provide empirical evidence of the
relationship between the theoretical
assumptions and the negative relation-
ship between the TPE and the behav-
ioral consequences related to word-of-
mouth communication. Future studies
should directly measure these theoreti-
cal assumptions. Although the survey
method in this study helps identify
variables worthy of consideration in
research on TPE in the SNW con-
text and provides exploratory relation-
ships between variables, future studies
should employ the experimental meth-
od to complement the findings of this
survey study and build causal relation-
ships between variables.
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About the Authors
Jie Zhang (MA - University of
Oklaholma; BA - Shanghai Univer-
sity, China) is a doctoral candidate of
Department of Advertising at The
University of Texas at Austin. Before
coming to the States, she worked as a
media buyer at an advertising agency
in Shanghai. Her work is published
in International Journal of Electronic
Marketing and Retailing (2009). Her
current research interests are electronic
word-of-mouth communication, online
branded entertainment, online social
networking, and cross-cultural com-
parisons of advertising or marketing
communications.
Terry Daugherty (PhD - Michigan
State University; MA - University of
Alabama; BA - Western Kentucky Uni-
versity) is an assistant professor in the
Department of Marketing at The Uni-
versity of Akron. His research focuses
on understanding consumer behavior
and interactive marketing by examining
how individual characteristics and me-
dia elements converge to effect both
cognitive and behavioral outcomes. His
research has appeared in the Journal
of Consumer Psychology, Psychology
and Marketing, Journal of Interactive
Marketing, Journal of Advertising,
International Journal of Internet Market-
ing and Advertising, and the Journal of
Interactive Advertising, among others.
Rajib Sanyal, Dean
Ball State University
Denise Schoenbachler, Dean
Northern Illinois University
Rodney Rogers, Dean
Bowling Green University
Hugh Sherman, Dean
Ohio University
D. Michael Fields, Dean
Central Michigan University
Thomas Gutteridge, Dean
The University of Toledo
Robert Scherer, Dean
Cleveland State University
Raj Aggarwal, Dean
The University of Akron
Roger Jenkins, Dean
Miami University
Ajay Samant, Interim Dean
Western Michigan University
Deans of AJB Sponsor Schools
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business and related disciplines. To pursue this mission, the MWDSI facilitates
the development and dissemination of knowledge in the diverse disciplines of
the decision sciences through publication, conferences, and other services.
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Left: Computer rendering of Savage Complex, future home of The
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... The relationships formed through SNSs are critical for consumer socialization [32]. The positive effects of SNSs include participants generating strong social ties and frequent interactions with close friends, as well as the emotional or substantive support obtained through such intensive communication. ...
... Social e-services refer to web-based services delivered to customers through the Internet [40]. In an e-commerce context, a variety of e-service quality attributes (e.g., website design, trust in the e-service, responsiveness, and personalization) help establish the stimuli for consumers' e-commerce shopping behaviors, although these stimuli have distinct effects [32,[41][42][43] Perceived e-service quality refers to an e-commerce website's overall desirable performance [44]. Al-Debei, Akroush, and Ashouri [41] reported that e-commerce attributes involve e-consumers' evaluations and judgments of a website's design and processes. ...
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Fitness apparel companies target consumers with easy access to social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). However, fitness apparel companies have struggled to incorporate social interactivity into their marketing strategies due to a lack of knowledge about consumers’ social media behaviors and different country contexts. The purpose of this study was to investigate (1) comparison of college students’ body image satisfaction in both the United States (U.S.) and South Korea and (2) how their body satisfaction influences consumer communication and the sustained referral intentions of fitness apparel in social media. The findings from 1144 survey responses of U.S. and South Korean college students reveal that student body satisfaction differs between the two countries. Body-dissatisfied U.S. and South Korean students with social capital on social networking websites are directly influenced by word-of-mouth regarding online fitness apparel purchases. Furthermore, perceived e-service quality, including website design and website responsiveness, is a significant mediator in both cultures, affecting the word-of-mouth for fitness-related purchases. This study provides evidence for marketers of fitness apparel, particularly e-marketers, to consider the cultural differences in customer preferences and customer body satisfaction, so as to enhance service performance.
... El ETP establece que las personas tenemos tendencia a sentirnos más protegidos que los demás de los efectos de los medios de comunicación (componente perceptual), y a causa de ello estamos dispuestos a apoyar o llevar a cabo acciones correctoras para minimizar o evitar esta influencia en los demás (componente perceptual). La manifestación del componente perceptual se ha comprobado en una gran multitud de estudios en contextos como: las series de televisión (Lasorsa, 1989), la pornografía (Gunther, 1995), las noticias (Price & Tewksbury, 1996), la violencia en televisión (Rojas, Shah & Faber, 1996), los anuncios controvertidos (Shah, Faber & Youn, 1999Henriksen, & Flora, 1999, los videojuegos violentos (Boyle, McLeod & Rojas, 2008), los reality shows (Cohen & Weimann, 2008), las redes sociales (Zhang & Daugherty, 2009) o el emplazamiento de bebidas alcohólicas (Shin & Kim, 2011). ...
... Los principales estudios han planteado la inclinación de los individuos a apoyar la censura de contenidos controvertidos, como la pornografía y los contenidos violentos (Gunther, 1995;Gunther & Hwa, 1996;McLeod et al., 1997;Sun, Shen & Pan, 2008). Sin embargo, varios estudios han ido más allá, proponiendo como posibles conductas derivadas de la existencia de la discrepancia la movilidad (Tsfati & Cohen, 2003), la toma de decisiones políticas (Perloff, 1996), el soporte a la regulación de las bebidas alcohólicas en películas (Shin & Kim, 2011), la mediación parental (Hoffner & Buchanan, 2002), la comunicación interpersonal en redes sociales (Zhang & Daugherty, 2009) o la expresión de la opinión (Mutz, 1989). Sin embargo, hay que destacar que la relación entre ambos componentes es, con toda probabilidad, el aspecto más controvertido del ETP, ya que han sido muchos los trabajos que han concluido que tal relación es inexistente, o de muy baja intensidad. ...
Preprint
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Este trabajo presenta los resultados conjuntos de 5 investigaciones sobre el efecto tercera persona (ETP) desarrolladas a lo largo de seis años de investigación. Los estudios se centraron en: (1) la influencia percibida de medios y contenidos (Guerrero-Solé, 2013), (2) la influencia percibida de una campaña de bañadores de H&M, y (3) de un anuncio de apuestas online (Guerrero-Solé, Lopez-Gonzalez y Griffiths, 2017), (4) la influencia percibida de contenidos controvertidos como el trash talk show Sálvame (Guerrero-Solé, Besalú y López-González, 2014), la publicidad y las imágenes violentas, y, finalmente (5) la diferencia en la influencia de los contenidos en función del medio por el que se transmiten (Guerrero-Solé, 2016; Guerrero-Solé, López-González, 2016). La muestra total de individuos que fueron encuestados sobre el efecto fue de N=556. Las principales conclusiones de este trabajo son: el efecto tercera persona se confirma en el caso de los medios, en general, la publicidad y los contenidos controvertidos, y se disipa o se revierte en el caso de las campañas institucionales de prevención del cáncer de piel o de la ludopatía. Una de las cuestiones que no queda resuelta es la conexión entre el componente perceptual y el conductual del ETP. Introducción Desde que hace cuatro décadas, Davison (1983) publicara su artículo sobre el que denominó efecto tercera persona (ETP), los investigadores en comunicación han analizado su presencia y sus consecuencias en una gran multitud de contextos. El ETP establece que las personas tenemos tendencia a sentirnos más protegidos que los demás de los efectos de los medios de comunicación (componente perceptual), y a causa de ello estamos dispuestos a apoyar o llevar a cabo acciones correctoras para minimizar o evitar esta influencia en los demás (componente perceptual). La manifestación del componente perceptual se ha comprobado en una gran multitud de estudios en contextos como: las series de televisión (
... Social media marketing (SMM) refers to commercial behaviour on social media (Zhang and Daugherty, 2009;Harvey, Stewart, and Ewing, 2011). SMM can be represented in two types: user-generated content (UGC) and social-based SMM (Mangold and Faulds, 2009;Chan and Guillet, 2011;Alves, Fernandes, and Raposo, 2016;Zeng and Wei, 2013 (Alalwan et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
The study investigated the impact of social media marketing activities on green consumption intention. The study used the survey method to describe this impact in five countries (Brazil, Egypt, India, South Africa, and Turkey). The analysis was applied to the leading platforms of electric car pages on social media - Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Five control variables (Age, Gender, Education, Income, and Citizenship) were used. A total of 393 questionnaires were collected in the first quarter of 2022. The study verified the adequacy of the sample with Cronbach’s alpha. Finally, based on Hierarchical Multiple Regression, the study found that social media marketing activities impact green consumption intention by (89.9%). In addition, control variables contributed to raising the impact to (94.9%). In this manner, the current study is new and offers valuable insight into the function of social media on green consumption intention under the demographic characteristics of consumers.
... Social media help companies to successfully organize their communication with target consumers. Social media marketing (SMM) refers to the commercial behavior initiated via social media (Zhang and Daugherty, 2009;Kazaka, 2009Kazaka, , 2012Harvey et al., 2011;Tiago and Veríssimo, 2014;Jankovic, 2020). There are two types of SMM: user-generated content-based and social-based SMM (Mangold and Faulds, 2009;Chan and Guillet, 2011;Zeng and Wei, 2013;Alves et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
The research aims to investigate the impact of social media marketing (SMM) on youth buying behavior in Pakistan. This study is empirically supported by the results of a survey conducted by the authors in ten universities in Lahore city (Pakistan) in March-June 2020 on a sample of 244 students (social media users) aged from 18 to 35. By conceptually dividing social media marketing into SMM advantages and website design & features, the purpose of this study became more specific: (1) to find the relationship between SMM advantages (convenience, timesaving, security of knowledge) and youth buying behavior; (2) to find the relationship between website features & design and youth buying behavior. Results of the analysis of the aggregate influence of SMM advantages on Pakistani youth buying behavior showed that they increase the intention to purchase by 42.9%. At the same time, website design & features used within social media marketing have even more positive effects on youth buying behavior, increasing the intention to purchase by 55.2%. Young buyers in Pakistan prefer attractive and well-designed websites or social media with many unique features for buying products and services. Thus, all research hypotheses are proved based on the survey data: social media marketing raised by unit positively affects Pakistani youth buying behavior by 53.5%, and the rest 46.5% could be conditioned by other non-market external and internal factors. The novelty of this study lies in investigating behavior patterns of the fast-growing segment of consumers of Pakistan, which, are the most active consumers of goods and services and social media users today and in the future.
... The success of mobile banking services largely depends on how banks can deliver the right information about the system correctly to their users (Zhang & Daugherty, 2009). Al-Saleh et al. (2017) confirmed that applying accurate security policies might not be successful without good communication with users who know about the consequences of security threats. ...
Article
This paper applies a theory of persuasion using the elaboration likelihood model to explain how communication messages from mobile banking services are interpreted by receivers to increase their trust in mobile banking. We explain how users' security and privacy concerns moderate the central route persuasion relationship between argument quality and trust. A questionnaire survey is employed to test a research model. The findings indicate that central and peripheral route persuasion cues enforce users' trust in mobile banking services. Users with strong privacy and security concerns are more likely to rely on the quality of arguments of the messages. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in the paper.
... And, in our community, Generations Y and X are leading the way in terms of adopting new social networking sites (SNSs), without having to leave the comfort". SNSs are both user-generated and user-centered compared to other media (Zhang & Daugherty, 2009). SNS's have become popular among all parts of the industry. ...
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Behavioral intention and continued adoption of Facebook: An exploratory study of graduate students in Bangladesh during the Covid-19 pandemic This study is designed to find out the fundamental reasons for students’ social media adoption during the Covid 19 epidemic in Bangladesh. The research object is to build a perceptual picture of the factors that will encourage and impact Facebook’s continued acceptance during this crisis. The sample was taken from 400 students from different universities in Bangladesh. Nine indicators (Trust, Perceived Usefulness, Privacy, Perceived Ease of Use, Subjective Norms, Educational Compatibility, Behavioral Intention, Personal Needs, and Continued Facebook Adoption) were used to experiment. The study results show that the fit indices of measurement model (fit /df = 1.436; GFI = 0.958; AGFI = 0.960; NFI = 0.947; CFI = 0.977; TLI = 0.978; SRMR = 0.031; RMSEA = 0.027; P-close = 1.00) are suitable and appropriate within their prescribed ranges. The mean, standard deviation, internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha > 0.7), composite reliability (CR > 0.8), and average variance extracted (AVE > 0.5) of each constructs are well and appropriate their recommended level which determine the designs of validity. The coefficient of all factors like Trust (0.29), Perceived Usefulness (0.19), Privacy (0.17), Perceived Ease of Use (0.26), Educational Compatibility (0.13), Behavioral Intention (0.45), Personal Needs (0.16), except subjective norms (0.01) have a meaningful and positive effect on the behavioral intention of Facebook that satisfactorily affects continued adoption behavior during covid-19. These observations illustrate the scientific rationale and views relevant to emerging economies like Bangladesh in the context of social media. Several implications have been presented based on the results.
Article
Social commerce facilitates communication among customers worldwide and promotes electronic customer-to-customer interaction (eCCI). Considerable research has been undertaken on consumer behaviour, but the understanding of the factors that drive eCCI is limited, particularly in the social commerce context. This limitation arises from a lack of theoretical frameworks to account for such behaviour. By using motivation–opportunity–ability (MOA) theory, this study aims to observe how MOA theory constructs (intrinsic motivation, perceived self-efficacy and tie strength with other customers) integrate and impact eCCI. A survey method is utilised to collect data, and structural equation modelling is used with 359 customers from social commerce sites in China. Results demonstrate that eCCI behaviour is strongly determined by intrinsic motivation, perceived self-efficacy and tie strength with other customers. Among these factors, intrinsic motivation partially mediates the association between perceived self-efficacy and eCCI. Moreover, tie strength with other customers moderates the relationship between intrinsic motivation and eCCI. Overall, this study introduces a new way of assessing eCCI and reports eCCI behaviour as a new and dynamic approach to explore how its outcomes can be enhanced in social commerce marketing. Such outcomes may help social commerce and service providers in delivering their services.
Chapter
Over the past two decades, social media has developed exponentially and significantly changed the customers' shopping behavior. Social media apps enable customers to interact with retailers and other customers closely, and influences their purchase decision. Hence, it is small wonder that businesses are investing time and resources to promote their products and brand image on social media applications. Instagram is best known for its enriched visual features in both image and footage and suitable for developing strong brand engagement. It is a viable platform for businesses to promote their products to customers. This chapter proposes a framework of product learning process with the use of Instagram. It contributes in effective management of social media marketing and provides marketers with the guidelines in using Instagram creatively to roll out customer engagement strategies.
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Kuşaklar, temel olarak Sessiz kuşak, Bebek patlaması kuşağı, X kuşağı, Y kuşağı, Z kuşağı ve son olarak da C kuşağı şeklinde sıralanır. Bu kuşaklar içinde “C kuşağı” teknoloji kullanımı ve bunun etkisiyle değişen tüketici davranışlarıyla stratejistlerin yeni hedef kitlesini oluşturmaktadır. Özellikle internetin sağladığı kolaylıklarla, dünya giderek küçülüp, daha fazla küreselleşirken; sürekli mobil yaşama eğiliminde, aktif bir sosyal medya kullanıcısı profilindeki bu kuşağın gelecekte alışılagelmiş tüm dengeleri değiştireceği öngörülmektedir. Bu çalışmada C kuşağının tüketici davranışları ve bu kuşağa yönelik geliştirilmiş olan pazarlama stratejileri detaylıca araştırılmıştır. Çalışma sonunda Türkiye’de GSM sektörü ve sektörün lideri Turkcell şirketinin bu kuşağa yaklaşımı incelenmiştir.
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This publication contains reprint articles for which IEEE does not hold copyright. Full text is not available on IEEE Xplore for these articles.
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Although numerous studies have shown the third-person perception, explanation of why and how self-other perceptual gaps occur remains underdeveloped. Conceiving message-effect perceptions as a form of social judgment under varying degrees of uncertainty, this study attempts to demonstrate the responsiveness of the perceptual gap to information on message effectiveness and to explicate the uncertainty-reduction interpretation of social distance corollary. Analyzing data from a survey and an experiment, this study finds that credible information on overall message ineffectiveness leads to reductions in estimated effects of the messages on both self and various others and in self-other perceptual gaps when the other is most distant from self. Consistent with the uncertainty reduction argument, the self-other perceptual gaps are related to perceived similarity of the others and vary in response to labels of the others that cue different degrees of similarity with self. Directions for future studies and practical implications are discussed.
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This article examines the behavioral hypothesis of the third-person effect. It argues that self-other disparities in perceived message effects lead to specific rectifying behaviors due to, presumably, a recognition of the problematic situation defined by perceived effects. Such behaviors would be aimed at restricting messages with negative influence, correcting messages with ambiguous influence, and amplifying messages with positive influence. The hypothesis was tested with models specified through “the diamond method.” These models allow for estimating effects of perceptual disparity while controlling for overall perceived message effects. Results from Web-based survey data showed that the third-person perception (i.e., greater effect on others than on self) was a robust and significant predictor across all three messages. But the directions of such effects differed across messages with desirable or undesirable presumed influence. Theoretical and methodological implications for future research on the behavioral hypothesis of third-person effect are discussed.
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Using an experimental design, this study investigated third-person effect and media credibility as a result of media attribution. Specifically, we compared third-person effect across four media sources: personal blogs, media blogs, online news, and print newspaper. Overall, participants exhibited third-person effects equally across the mediums. Third-person effect regressed with credibility.
Article
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Although there is consistent evidence indicating that people perceive themselves to be less influenced than others by negative media content and persuasive communications with negative intent (viz., a third-person effect), much less is known about the perceived impact of positive media content and public service advertisements. This study investigated the perceived impact of 11 AIDS advertisements promoting a common message for safe sex, in an attempt to clarify the conditions in which people might judge themselves as more, rather than less, influenced than others. Results indicated that student respondents perceived themselves as less vulnerable than others to low-quality AIDS advertisements, but as more influenced than others by high-quality AIDS advertisements. Respondents who believed strongly that it is good to be influenced by AIDS campaigns saw themselves as relatively vulnerable to such messages, whereas other respondents did not distinguish between the level of impact on self and other. Results are consistent with motivational accounts that emphasize the ego-enhancing function of social comparisons.
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Based on a social comparison theoretical framework, this study explores the third-person effect in public relations and examines situational variables such as message topic, message valence (i.e., positive versus negative), perceived desirability of being affected by the message, and receiver characteristics. A lab experiment (n=229) was conducted. This study provided additional empirical evidence of the prevalence of the third-person effect in the context of positive and negative news releases.
Article
This study investigated the third-person effect of pornography on the Internet. The study was conducted in Singapore, a conservative nation that looks askance at sexuality in media. Congruent with the third-person effect, respondents judged pornographic material on the Internet to have a greater impact on others than on themselves. This “perceptual bias” predicted support for censorship. In addition to general tests of the third-person effects of perceptual and behavioral components, the study also examined factors that may enhance or mitigate the third-person effect. Findings revealed evidence for a perceived social distance corollary with children to be more influenced by pornography. The perceived greater effect on children, however, did not increase the likelihood of support for censorship on children. This finding supports McLeod, Eveland, and Nathanson's assertion that perceived likelihood of exposure to content may affect third-person perception.
Article
This study investigates the third-person perception and both preventive and punitive explanations for support for media censorship in the context of a controversial sexual video compact disc (VCD) that exposed the private sex life of a Taiwanese politician. The preventive explanation views support for censorship as a preventive action to protect others from threatening media effects; the punitive explanation argues that individuals’ favorable attitudes toward media censorship reflect their intention to penalize the media for the harm done to the subject of the communication. The study shows strong support for the third-person perception of media effects and suggests a punitive explanation for support for government’s censorship. The preventive explanation received only partial support. In addition, support for censorship was also extended from attitudes toward government restrictions to behaviors. Findings indicate that individuals’ reluctance to disseminate sexual content was predicted by exposure to the communication and self-efficacy in using new technology.
Article
A series of in-depth interviews was conducted to examine older adults' perceptions of the effects of direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising on themselves and others. Results give empirical voice to published survey findings and provide additional evidence to support the third-person effect in DTC advertising. Findings indicate that older adults do not perceive DTC ad effects on themselves when asked directly, but do indicate behaving in DTC-ad-expected ways in particular situations. The informants also perceived different types of DTC ad effects on others and themselves. In addition, the interview data suggest that older consumers' frustration toward individual DTC ads – despite positive perceptions toward the general idea of DTC advertising – operate behind denial of DTC ad effects on self. Both cognitive and motivational explanations can be applied to understand why older adults make these types of attributions in the context of third-person DTC ad effects.