Title

Fear of COVID-19 Opinion Expression: Digitally Mediated Spirals of Silence and the Situational Theory of Problem Solving

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2021

Publication Title

Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media

Volume

65

Issue

4

First page number:

457

Last page number:

478

Abstract

Integrating the Spiral of Silence and the Situational Theory of Problem Solving, this study examines the relationships among fear of isolation, public segmentation, and willingness to express COVID-19 opinions amidst a public climate polarized by social media. An online survey sampled 338 U.S. participants. Findings revealed that fear of isolation predicted COVID-19 opinion expression. Additionally, segmentation of publics predicted COVID-19 online information-seeking behavior while situational variables moderated the relationship between fear of isolation and opinion expression engagement. Findings provide practical implications for effective health messaging and social media literacy efforts to combat opposing public opinion judgments about adhering to public health guidelines.

Controlled Subject

COVID-19 (Disease); TRIZ theory

Disciplines

Immunology and Infectious Disease | Other Immunology and Infectious Disease

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