Influence of Online Social Support on the Public's Belief in Overcoming COVID-19

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Zhong Yao
  • Pengfei Tang
  • Jiarong Fan
  • Jing Luan

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number102583
Journal / PublicationInformation Processing and Management
Volume58
Issue number4
Online published15 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Abstract

The sudden outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in early 2020 has dramatically changed people’s lives. Some countries have taken mass home quarantine to control the virus. However, the side effects of quarantine have rarely been interrogated by current COVID-19 research. This study thus investigates the effects of online social support on the public’s beliefs in overcoming COVID-19 by embracing their cognition and emotion during the epidemic. First, by crawling and content analysis of the messages posted on "Baidu COVID-19 bar", this study identified 5 types of online social support given or received by the public during COVID-19. On this basis, a model explaining the public’s beliefs was developed from the perspectives of online social support, cognition and emotion. 334 valid online questionnaires were collected to examine the proposed model and hypotheses. The results show that cognition has a direct effect on the belief, while emotion affects the belief via a full mediating effect of cognition. Tangible support and esteem support can directly affect the public’s beliefs, and educational level significantly moderates these effects. In addition, the public’s cognition is influenced by informational support, however, emotion is not influenced by social support but by other factors (e.g., information disclosure, material supplies and frustration caused by the epidemic). These research results provide a deep insight into how to reduce the negative effects of quarantine, consolidate the theoretical basis of the public’s beliefs, and have important practical implications for individuals and the government in dealing with such emergencies.

Research Area(s)

  • Belief, Cognition, COVID-19, Emotion, Online social support

Citation Format(s)

Influence of Online Social Support on the Public's Belief in Overcoming COVID-19. / Yao, Zhong; Tang, Pengfei; Fan, Jiarong; Luan, Jing.

In: Information Processing and Management, Vol. 58, No. 4, 102583, 07.2021.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review