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Relationship between social media activities and thinking styles

Huan Xu (School of Business, Central South University, Changsha, China)
Yanping Gong (School of Business, Central South University, Changsha, China)
Qin Zhang (School of Business, Central South University, Changsha, China)
Julan Xie (School of Business, Central South University, Changsha, China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 9 May 2019

Issue publication date: 3 April 2020

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657

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into the relationship between social media activities and thinking styles, and its potential mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study conducted four studies using an experimental method and eye-tracking method to evaluate prediction.

Findings

Results from studies 1 and 2 showed that social media activities influence individuals’ self-construal, and the impact of self-construal on the relative reliance on cognitive vs affective thinking styles. Study 3 supports the hypothesis that social media activities influence individual’s thinking styles, and self-construal is a critical mediator in this process. Furthermore, the authors replicated these findings using an experimental method and eye-tracking method (Study 4), which enabled us to better understand the consumer’s psychological experience when using social media.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the social media activity literature in the following ways. First, this research advances the knowledge of social media by demonstrating that social media activities can have significant effects on thinking styles. Second, the current research brings important insights to the literature on self-construal. Finally, using eye-tracking methods, the authors also provided some new insights on consumer thinking and behavior.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors declare no conflict of interest. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos 71672195, 71872184 and 71802195); and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of Central South University (Grant No. 2016zzts008). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Citation

Xu, H., Gong, Y., Zhang, Q. and Xie, J. (2020), "Relationship between social media activities and thinking styles", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 195-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-09-2018-0378

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited