When a Personal HPV Story on a Blog Influences Perceived Social Norms: The Roles of Personal Experience, Framing, Perceived Similarity, and Social Media Metrics

Tae Kyoung Lee, Leona Yi Fan Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-446
Number of pages9
JournalHealth communication
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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