Online bandwagon effects: Quantitative versus qualitative cues in online comments sections

Seungae Lee, Lucy Atkinson, Yoon Hi Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bandwagon effects explain an individual’s tendency to conform to and follow other people’s opinions. Drawing on bandwagon effects, this study explored the relative influence of two different bandwagon heuristic cues in an online comments section (quantitative vs qualitative) on changes in news readers’ opinion. Study 1 revealed that qualitative cues have a stronger effect than quantitative cues in changing news readers’ opinions. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and showed that people change opinions in the same direction as perceived public opinion, providing empirical evidence of online bandwagon effects. The findings offer theoretical insights by explicating the process of opinion change via perceived public opinion as well as practical insights into public opinion formation in online environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-599
Number of pages20
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the research fund of Hanyang University (HY-2019).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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