The Effect of Disease Salience on Preference for eWOM in Social Media

Bingjie Deng, Michael Chau

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

Abstract

This article examines how disease salience influences users’ preference for eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth) in social media. Merging insights from the behavioral immune system (BIS) with research on eWOM, we predict that infectious disease salience decreases preference for news with high (vs. low) eWOM volume. Specifically, exposure to infectious disease cues lowers readers’ intention to consume the news with high (vs. low) eWOM volume. Infectious disease salience will activate BIS and disease-avoidance motive, which will decrease their preference for people-related objects. Since high eWOM volume is implicitly associated with many people, it misaligns with the avoidance motive. Our preliminary results support most of our predictions. The findings advance fundamental knowledge of the evolutionary strategies guiding disease avoidance and document how strategies can affect users’ social media behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication42nd International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2021 TREOs
Subtitle of host publication"Building Sustainability and Resilience with IS: A Call for Action"
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9781713893608
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event42nd International Conference on Information Systems: Building Sustainability and Resilience with IS: A Call for Action, ICIS 2021 TREOs - Austin, United States
Duration: 12 Dec 202115 Dec 2021

Publication series

Name42nd International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2021 TREOs: "Building Sustainability and Resilience with IS: A Call for Action"

Conference

Conference42nd International Conference on Information Systems: Building Sustainability and Resilience with IS: A Call for Action, ICIS 2021 TREOs
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin
Period12/12/2115/12/21

Keywords

  • Behavioral immune system
  • Disease salience
  • eWOM
  • Social media

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