Cues about Cues in Political Comments on Social Media: Effects of Commenters’ Attractiveness and Claims of Cognitive Effort

Jayeon Lee, Raymond J. Pingree


Humans strive for balance between their motivations for accurate judgments and their cognitive effort. Although heuristic cues provide cognitive shortcuts, heuristic-based processing does not guarantee quality judgments. Based on the heuristic-systematic model, this study investigates if social media users select cues to use for their judgments based on cue applicability and reliability, which can facilitate more effective heuristic processing. The present study examine if (1) commenters’ physical attractiveness and their claims of cognitive effort influence the effects of their comments about a political candidate on the viewer’s attitude toward and vote intention for the candidate, and (2) if the viewer’s political interest moderates the influences. The results indicate that vote intention is significantly influenced by the cognitive effort cue whereas attitude is significantly influenced only when the viewer is interested in politics. The attractiveness cue does not have a significant influence.


social media, other-provided cue, comment, attractiveness, cognitive effort, impression

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