The current study examines how a personal health story on a blog can influence individuals’ perceived social norms, adopting the notion that social norms are “group identity-based codes of conduct”. For that, we tested the effects of story framing and personal experience on perceived similarity, which interacts with social media metrics in forming perceived social norms. In an online experiment, college students (N = 220) were recruited to read a blogger’s story in either a gain-frame (the blogger received the HPV vaccine and, thus, prevented cancer) or a loss-frame (the blogger did not receive the vaccine and, thus, developed cancer) with either high or low social media metrics. Participants reported that they were more similar with the blogger in the gain-framed story than the one in the loss-framed story, especially among those who have received the HPV. This perceived similarity was positively associated with both descriptive and injunctive norms; however, the positive association between similarity and descriptive norms disappeared when the blog had low social media metrics. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)