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Keywords:

  • Facebook;
  • Differential Impact Hypothesis;
  • Third Person Effect;
  • Framing

Abstract

This study examined the effects of embedding and framing online news stories in social media contexts on perceived message influence and third-person effects (3PE). 88 undergraduates at a Northeastern U.S. university participated in an online experiment in which they evaluated news stories posted on Facebook. A 4 x 2 mixed experimental design was used with the between-subject variables of viewing condition (no Facebook frame, neutral Facebook, positive Facebook evaluation, and negative Facebook evaluation) and the within-subjects factor of story relevance (Low, High). Results indicate that perceptions of personal influence increase in social media contexts for more personally relevant stories. These results are consistent with the Differential Impact Hypothesis.