The interplay between governmental communications and fellow citizens’ reactions via twitter: Experimental results of a theoretical crisis in the Netherlands

Marije H Bakker*, Marco van Bommel, José H Kerstholt, Ellen Giebels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to gain insight into the interplay between citizens’ reactions on Twitter and governmental communications as well as their effects on self‐reliant behaviour and trust. Two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1, participants first received other citizens’ reactions followed by the government's communications about how to act. Participants received supporting, opposing, mixed, or no reactions from other citizens. In Study 2, participants first received the government's communications with either certain or uncertain crisis information, followed by the different citizens’ reactions. The results showed that citizens’ reactions via Twitter are not necessarily detrimental to the effectiveness of governmental communications regarding self‐reliant behaviour. In addition, our findings suggest being careful with providing uncertain governmental communications during a crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date22 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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communication
Communication
experimental study
citizen
The Netherlands
Twitter
Government

Keywords

  • citizens
  • crisis
  • crisis communication
  • self-reliant behaviour
  • twitter
  • SOCIAL MEDIA USE
  • RISK
  • INFORMATION
  • BELIEFS
  • SCIENCE
  • EXPERT
  • IMPACT
  • PEER

Cite this

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title = "The interplay between governmental communications and fellow citizens’ reactions via twitter: Experimental results of a theoretical crisis in the Netherlands",
abstract = "This study aimed to gain insight into the interplay between citizens’ reactions on Twitter and governmental communications as well as their effects on self‐reliant behaviour and trust. Two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1, participants first received other citizens’ reactions followed by the government's communications about how to act. Participants received supporting, opposing, mixed, or no reactions from other citizens. In Study 2, participants first received the government's communications with either certain or uncertain crisis information, followed by the different citizens’ reactions. The results showed that citizens’ reactions via Twitter are not necessarily detrimental to the effectiveness of governmental communications regarding self‐reliant behaviour. In addition, our findings suggest being careful with providing uncertain governmental communications during a crisis.",
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The interplay between governmental communications and fellow citizens’ reactions via twitter: Experimental results of a theoretical crisis in the Netherlands. / Bakker, Marije H; van Bommel, Marco; Kerstholt, José H; Giebels, Ellen.

In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Vol. 27, No. 3, 09.2019, p. 265-271.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - van Bommel, Marco

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AU - Giebels, Ellen

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N2 - This study aimed to gain insight into the interplay between citizens’ reactions on Twitter and governmental communications as well as their effects on self‐reliant behaviour and trust. Two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1, participants first received other citizens’ reactions followed by the government's communications about how to act. Participants received supporting, opposing, mixed, or no reactions from other citizens. In Study 2, participants first received the government's communications with either certain or uncertain crisis information, followed by the different citizens’ reactions. The results showed that citizens’ reactions via Twitter are not necessarily detrimental to the effectiveness of governmental communications regarding self‐reliant behaviour. In addition, our findings suggest being careful with providing uncertain governmental communications during a crisis.

AB - This study aimed to gain insight into the interplay between citizens’ reactions on Twitter and governmental communications as well as their effects on self‐reliant behaviour and trust. Two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1, participants first received other citizens’ reactions followed by the government's communications about how to act. Participants received supporting, opposing, mixed, or no reactions from other citizens. In Study 2, participants first received the government's communications with either certain or uncertain crisis information, followed by the different citizens’ reactions. The results showed that citizens’ reactions via Twitter are not necessarily detrimental to the effectiveness of governmental communications regarding self‐reliant behaviour. In addition, our findings suggest being careful with providing uncertain governmental communications during a crisis.

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