The purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into the relationship between social media activities and thinking styles, and its potential mechanism.
The current study conducted four studies using an experimental method and eye-tracking method to evaluate prediction.
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.
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.