How a paracrisis situation is instigated by an online firestorm and visual mockery: Testing a paracrisis development model

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

On the framework of cognitive appraisal theory, the current research proposes a paracrisis development model that illustrates how the cognitive appraisal of social norms and visual mockery in the social media evokes negative affect and subsequent coping behaviors in terms of boycotts. To test the model, an online experiment was conducted simulating a real-world paracrisis situation in which a user's Facebook commentary regarding a company's billboard ad sparked a social media outcry. Results of the study showed that both social proof and visual mockery played a role in the negative climate of opinion and perception of a crisis. Social proof and visual mockery also aroused negative affect. Notably, visual mockery affected negative affect of self rather than others, while social proof had a greater impact on negative affect of others than self. The elicited negative affect not only increased boycott intentions but it also mediated the effect of visual mockery on boycott intentions. In conclusion, the paracrisis development model showed empirical evidence for the role of social media triggered events in forming a crisis perception and potentially leading to boycotts in the interplay of social proof and visual mockery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-263
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Boycott intentions
  • Cognitive appraisal theory
  • Crisis
  • Mockery
  • Social media
  • Social proof

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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