That's so OCD: The effects of disease trivialization via social media on user perceptions and impression formation

Rachelle L. Pavelko, Jessica Myrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Informal discussions of mental illness take place every day in social media. In the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), in particular, widespread use of the hashtag "#OCD" indicates that social media users often trivialize the disease. The present study used a 3 × 2 × 2 between-subjects fully factorial online experiment (N = 574, recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform) to test the impact of trivialized framing of this disease on perceptions of social media users who employ such language, as well as on perceptions of people with OCD as a group. Additionally, this study tested the effects of the gender of the Twitter avatar and self-identification in the avatar biography as an individual with OCD on these perceptions. Three-way analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) assessed the impact of the manipulations (i.e., content frame, gender of the avatar, self-identification with OCD). Results indicate that language use, gender, and self-identification influence impression formation in a social media environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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