We find that people who experience social marginalization are more likely to share COVID-19 news indiscriminately, that is, sharing news that is factually untrue and true, as well as news that seems surprising and unsurprising. This effect, driven by their general motivation to seek meaning, holds when people self-identify as being socially marginalized (i.e., experiencing frequent feelings of discrimination) and when they are situationally induced to feel marginalized. We demonstrate that an intervention to help people obtain a temporary sense of meaning by having high (vs. low) power can reduce indiscriminate news sharing. For socially marginalized individuals, sharing news on social media appears to reflect a need to make sense of their world and comprehend it.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the Association for Consumer Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Jan|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 Association for Consumer Research. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Economics and Econometrics