Can people's depression level affect how they respond to related information?: Information relevance as a mediator

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Conference Proceeding

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In this paper, we investigate how individuals respond to a Weibo post addressing depression, based on their depression level and perceived relevance of the information contained in the post. We propose a research model, in which information relevance mediates the relationship between individuals' depression status and their intended behavior of information exchange (i.e., reposting, liking, and commenting). Our results demonstrate that: 1) an individual's depression degree has direct effect on the likelihood of reposting and liking, but not commenting, and 2) information relevance is a full mediator that transmits the effect of depression level on information exchange behavior, except for commenting. According to our findings, we suggest that reposting, liking, and commenting are different metrics of information exchange behavior. Also, we suggest that information relevance is an important factor that can craft individuals' responses to depression-related social media content. Finally, we provide theoretical and practical implications and discuss directions for future research.

Publication Title

Proceedings - 2019 4th International Conference on Communication and Information Systems, ICCIS 2019

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