Communication Research Reports
This experiment (N= 476) investigates how individuals evaluate political candidates who use informal communication on social media. We use expectancy violations theory (EVT) to predict that informal communication will lead to negative evaluations. Our results suggest that politicians’ use of informal communication on social media leads to expectancy violation, which decreases perceived credibility and lessens intention to support a candidate. This effect was not moderated by sex (male versus female) or age (young versus old) of the candidate, nor of participants being the same sex as the candidate. These findings suggest that political figures should use informal communication on social media with caution.
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