Identity on Social Networks as a Cue: Identity, Retweets, and Credibility

Xialing Lin, Patric R. Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The current study investigates how social media affordances influence individuals’ source credibility perceptions in the presence of risk information, specifically examining how bandwagon heuristics interact with different identity heuristics at the individual level. The MAIN model and warranting theory serve as the theoretical framework to examine the effects of bandwagon cues and identity cues embedded in retweets and users’ profile pages for health and risk online information processing. A posttest-only experiment with a self-report questionnaire was administered to participants. Results indicate that different online heuristic cues impact the judgments of competence, goodwill, and trustworthiness. Authority cues strongly influenced source credibility perceptions. A reverse-bandwagon effect was observed in influencing source credibility judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-482
Number of pages22
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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