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Title: Personality, anxiety and information behavior in social media : a cognitive vulnerability approach
Authors: Chua, Junjie
Keywords: DRNTU::Library and information science::Knowledge management
DRNTU::Social sciences::Psychology::Affection and emotion
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: While social media can be a useful source of information to help one keep abreast of developments of events happening locally and globally, studies have also suggested that frequent use of social media can cause anxiety. Building on the research that negative news in the mass media can induce anxiety symptoms (e.g., Johnston & Davey, 1997) and that negative content in social media can trigger anxiety-motivated information behaviours (e.g., Chen & Sakamoto, 2013), this study explores the possible extension of such behaviours in the context of negative information in social media. To identify possible groups of vulnerable individuals susceptible to such anxiety and information behaviours, the cognitive vulnerability to anxiety theoretical framework is adopted. More specifically, two cognitive vulnerabilities to anxiety variables: intolerance of uncertainty and looming cognitive style are studied. These are negative beliefs which propel one to experience anxiety symptoms due to specific cognitive appraisal biases when one is exposed to threat relevant information. The study was conducted using the survey questionnaire. A self-reported questionnaire method known as the situation response inventory was also used to measure participants’ levels of anxiety symptoms and information behaviour intentions in reaction to negative social media information. In all, 177 samples were gathered and analysed using the convenience sampling method. Results showed that negative information is related to the anxiety symptoms responses to such information which can be classified into global and local negative information symptoms. Looming cognitive style and intolerance of uncertainty were also found to predict the levels of anxiety symptoms experienced. The former predicted both information seeking and information sharing intentions while the later only predicted intentions to seek but not share negative information. Implications of such findings are discussed in the context of how social media can be a source of “danger” for people susceptible to experiencing anxiety symptoms and what can be done to buffer such negative effects of social media for them.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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