Social media usage in politics : the framing effect and political involvement

Özdemir, Burçin
This study aims to explore the role of framing effect on the impacts of political messages transmitted through Social Networking Sites (SNSs). Messages from politicians framed differently (positive/negative, use of symbolic language / neutral language) are evaluated by a large number of individuals with varying demographic characteristics and political involvement levels, and the respondents’ degree of (1) agreement, (2) comprehension, (3) persuasion, (4) confidence with the message as well as (5) willingness to share message arguments with others are compared across different framing conditions. Twitter is used as the specific SNS platform for all conditions. Data to be analyzed are collected from 168 participants using a convenience sampling procedure. The results indicate that in general negative neutral and negative symbolic messages generate higher impacts than positive messages in terms of persuasion, and that these effects are not different across the high and low involvement groups. Additionally, utilitarian and hedonic expectations of the users are found to be not influential on the interpretation of the frames.