Dizin Eklenmedi

Can Social Media Change Your Mind? SNS Use, Cross-cutting Exposure and Discussion, and Political View Change

Received: 2015-11-15 Accepted: 2015-11-30 Published: 2016-01-20



The present study proposes a multiple-mediation model in which the use of social-networking sites (SNS), or social media, is significantly related to political view change and issue involvement through users’ information-seeking motivations, cross-cutting exposure, and cross-cutting discussion. Analysis of national data (N = 684) indicates that the frequent use of SNS has significant positive effects on both view change and issue involvement through users’ political information-seeking motivations and willing discussion across lines of difference by actively expressing their views on others’ posts they disagree with. According to the proposed model, frequent SNS use has no significant influence on view change or issue involvement when the user does not use the media for information-seeking or cross-cutting discussion. These findings demonstrate that informational use and participation in dangerous (i.e., heterogeneous) political discussion are necessary conditions of such meaningful consequences for democracy as political view change and issue involvement.


Keywords: Social networking site, social media, cross-cutting, political discussion, information-seeking motivations, disagreement


Please purchase to download content


Please purchase to download PDF




Arendt, H. (1958). The human condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Brundidge, J. (2010). Encountering "difference" in the contemporary public sphere: The contribution of
Conover, P. J., Searing, D. D., & Crewe, I. M. (2002). The deliberative potential of political discussion. British Journal of Political Science, 32(1), 21–62.
DeFleur, M. L., & Ball-Rokeach, S. (1982). Theories of mass communication (4th ed.). New York: Longman.
Eliasoph, N. (1998). Avoiding politics: How Americans produce apathy in everyday life. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook "friends:" Social capital and college students' use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143–1168.
Ellison, N., Lampe, C., & Steinfield, C. (2009). Social network sites and society: Current trends and future possibilities. Interactions, 16(1), p. 6–9.
Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.
Huckfeldt, R., Mendez, J. M., & Osborn, T. (2004). Disagreement, ambivalence, and engagement: The political consequences of heterogeneous networks. Political Psychology, 25(1), 65–95.
Katz, E. (1992). On parenting a paradigm: Gabriel Tarde's agenda for opinion and communication research. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 4, 80–86.
Katz, E., Blumler, J.,&Gurevitch, M. (1974). Utilization of mass communication by the individual. In J. Blumler & E. Katz (Eds.), The uses of mass communication: Current perspectives on gratifications research (pp. 19–34). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Klein, K., & Boals, A. (2001). Expressive writing can increase working memory capacity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130(3), 520–533.
Kushin, M., & Kitchener, K. (2009). Getting political on social network sites: Exploring online political discourse on Facebook. First Monday, 14(11). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2645/2350
Kushin, M. J., & Yamamoto, M. (2010). Did social media really matter? College students' use of online media and political decision making in the 2008 election. Mass Communication and Society, 13(5), 608–630.
Kwak, N., Williams, A. E.,Wang, X., & Lee, H. (2005). Talking politics and engaging politics: An examination of the interactive relationship between structural features of political talk and discussion engagement. Communication Research, 32(1), 87–111.
MacKuen, M., & Brown, C. (1987). Political context and attitude change. American Political Science Review, 81(2), 471–490.
McLeod, J. M., Scheufele, D. A., & Moy, P. (1999). Community, communication, and participation: The role of mass media and interpersonal discussion in local political participation. Political Communication, 16(3), 315–336.
Moy, P., & Gastil, J. (2006). Predicting deliberative conversation: The impact of discussion networks, media use, and political cognitions. Political Communication, 23(4), 443–460.
Mutz, D. C. (2002a). Cross-cutting social networks: Testing democratic theory in practice. American Political Science Review, 96(1), 111–126.
Mutz, D. C. (2002b). The consequences of cross-cutting networks for political participation. American Journal of Political Science, 46(4), 838–855.
Mutz, D. C., & Martin, P. S. (2001). Facilitating communication across lines of political difference: The role of mass media. American Political Science Review, 95(1), 97–114.
Myers, T. A. (2011). Goodbye, listwise deletion: Presenting hot deck imputation as an easy and effective tool for handling missing data. Communication Methods and Measures, 5(4), 297–310.
Papacharissi, Z., & Mendelson, A. (2010). Toward a new(er) sociability: Uses, gratifications and social
Pew Research. (2012). Social media and voting. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/11/06/
Pew Research. (2014). State of the news media: Overview. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org/
Pew Research. (2015). The evolving role of news on Twitter and Facebook. Retrieved from http://www.
Pingree, R. J. (2007). How messages affect their senders: A more general model of message effects and implications for deliberation. Communication Theory, 17(4), 439–461.
Pinkleton, B. E., & Austin, E. W. (1998). Media and participation: Breaking the spiral of disaffection. In T. J. Johnson, C. E. Hays & S. P. Hays (Eds.), Engaging the public: How government and the media Can reinvigorate American democracy (pp. 75–86). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Price, V., Cappella, J. N., & Nir, L. (2002). Does disagreement contribute to more deliberative opinion? Political Communication, 19(1), 95–112.
Price, V., Nir, L., & Cappella, J. N. (2006). Normative and informational influences in online political discussions. Communication Theory, 16(1), 47–74.
Scheufele, D. A., Nisbet, M. C., Brossard, D., & Nisbet, E. C. (2004). Social structure and citizenship: Examining the impacts of social setting, network heterogeneity, and informational variables on political participation. Political Communication, 21(3), 315–338.
Severin, W. J., and Tankard, J. W. (1997). Communication theories: Origins, methods, and uses in the mass media (4th ed.). New York: Longman.
Shah, D. V., Cho, J., Eveland, W. P., & Kwak, N. (2005). Information and expression in a digital age modeling Internet effects on civic participation. Communication Research, 32(5), 531–565.
Xenos, M., Vromen, A., & Loader, B. D. (2014). The great equalizer? Patterns of social media use and youth political engagement in three advanced democracies. Information, Communication & Society, 17(2).
Zaller, J. (1992). The nature and origins of mass opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Zhang, W., Johnson, T. J., Seltzer, T., & Bichard, S. L. (2010). The Revolution will be networked: The influence of social networking sites on political attitudes and behavior. Social Science Computer Review, 28(1), 75–92.

Citation Information

Cited by articles

Cited by Google Scholar

Search GoogleScholar

Citation Management Tool

Altmetric Attention Score

Full Text Views

Cited by

Ethical Obligations Journal Sevices Contact us
Copyright © 2010-2017 MacroWorld Ltd. All Rights Reserved