Understanding the Role of Social Media in Political Participation: Integrating Political Knowledge and Bridging Social Capital From the Social Cognitive Approach
Recently, the relationship between use of social media and political participation has received increased scholarly scrutiny. Two main elements that reflect theoretical approaches to the relationship have been developed: political knowledge and bridging social capital. The current study integrates political knowledge and bridging social capital, using Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT) on data collected from surveys conducted in the U.S. The results suggest that self-efficacy and outcome expectancy mediate the effects of political knowledge and bridging social capital on political participation. The proposed model represents the interactions among bridging social capital, political knowledge, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy, providing an overall mechanism to assess the effects of social media on political participation using SCT.