Emotional Sharing on Social Media: How Twitter Replies Contribute to Increased Emotional Intensity - CSH

Emotional Sharing on Social Media: How Twitter Replies Contribute to Increased Emotional Intensity


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Emotional sharing is thought to be a driver of social movements on social media. But how does this work, particularly given how quickly emotions usually decay? In the present research, we test the hypothesis that emotional sharing in twitter replies shapes “appropriate” emotional responses, thereby supporting social movements.

In Study 1, we consider a negative context (the Ferguson unrest) and show that replies are more negative than original tweets, and that this process is mainly driven by replies to positive and neutral tweets. We further show that replies that are more negative than original tweets are rewarded by more likes and shares.

In Study 2, we consider a positive context (Trump supporters celebrating his election victory) and show that replies are more positive than original tweets, and that this positivity is rewarded by more likes and shares. Combined, these two studies reveal emotional sharing processes that may drive social movements.

 

D. Garcia, A. Goldenberg, J. Gross, Emotional Sharing on Social Media: How Twitter Replies Contribute to Increased Emotional Intensity, 2018 (preprint).

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