Are Emotion-Expressing Messages More Shared on Social Media? A Meta-Analytic Review

Main Article Content

Junhan Chen
Yumin Yan
John Leach


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.

Article Details

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
Health Communication
Author Biographies

Yumin Yan, University of Maryland College Park

Yumin Yan is a Ph.D. candidate at Department of Communication, University of Maryland College Park. Her research focuses on strategic communication and public relations.

John Leach, University of Maryland College Park

John Leach is a Ph.D. Student at Department of Communication, University of Maryland College Park. His research focus on health communication and emerging media.


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