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Keywords

social media
social sharing of emotion
health communication
crisis communication
meta-analysis

How to Cite

Chen, J., Yan, Y., & Leach, J. (2022). Are Emotion-Expressing Messages More Shared on Social Media? A Meta-Analytic Review. Review of Communication Research, 10. Retrieved from https://www.rcommunicationr.org/index.php/rcr/article/view/123

Abstract

Given that social media has brought significant change to the communication landscape, researchers have explored factors that can influence audiences’ information-sharing on social media such as a message feature like emotion-expressing. The present study meta-analytically summarized 19 studies to advance the understanding of the associations between emotion-expressing messages and information-sharing on social media in health and crisis communication contexts. Additional moderator analyses considered social media platform, sampling method, coding method, and emotion valence. Our study showed support for the social sharing of emotion hypothesis on social media; the findings showed that emotion-expressing messages are more likely to motivate audiences’ sharing behavior on social media in health and crisis contexts (r = .09, k = 19, N = 4,582,823). Moreover, we found that studies focusing on non-Twitter platforms (vs. Twitter), using nonrandom sampling (vs. using random sampling or all samples), using human coding (vs. machine coding), and focusing on messages expressing positive emotions (vs. negative emotions or both positive and negative emotions) had larger effect sizes. The study suggested implications for the future development of a theoretical framework on emotion-expressing messages and information-sharing. It also informed communication practices of broadening the reach of health and crisis information.

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