Date of Completion
message virality, social media, Facebook, source credibility, norms, attitudes, emotional responses, behavioral intentions, binge drinking, alcohol consumption, engagement
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
The present study explored the effectiveness of an anti-alcohol PSA in the context of Facebook. The study analyzed the effects of message source and message virality (i.e., high shares and likes vs. low shares and likes) on user’s perceived trustworthiness of the post, depth of processing, social norms, attitudes, emotional responses, and behavioral intentions regarding alcohol consumption. Participants viewed an anti-binge drinking PSA developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted on a mock Facebook profile page in a 2 (message source: CDC post vs. peer-repost) x 2 (virality: high likes and shares vs. low likes and shares) between subjects experimental design. Although, results suggested that message source and message virality were not related to trustworthiness of the post, perceived virality mediated the relationship between virality and Facebook user norms, highlighting the role of viralty in raising awareness about the importance of a post. Trustworthiness of the post had an indirect effect on depth of processing, social norms, and attitudes, and these relationships were mediated by message believability. Moreover, message believability was found to positively predict Facebook user norms, peer descriptive norms, attitudes toward binge drinking, and engagement with the post. Depth of processing predicted negative emotional responses and online engagement with the post. Based on these findings, implications for future research are discussed, as well as recommendations for running promotions using PSAs on Facebook.
Borsai, Anne M., "The Effects of Message Virality and Message Source on Facebook Users’ Perceptions of Source Credibility, Norms, Attitudes, Emotional Responses, and Behavioral Intentions" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations. 1305.