An Examination of Information Behaviors Surrounding Controversial Sociopolitical Issues: Roles of Moral Emotions and Gender

Cheng Hong, Weiting Tao, Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai, Bo Ra Yook


Given the emotion-laden nature and moral considerations of controversial sociopolitical issues, this study examines two key antecedents of publics’ information behaviors about controversial sociopolitical issues. We focus on the underresearched emotional dimension by investigating the effects of moral emotions induced by such issues as well as a key demographic factor, gender, on publics’ information behaviors toward such issues. Results of this study highlight the significant influence of moral emotions and expand theoretical understanding of public advocacy on highly divisive issues.


moral emotions, controversial sociopolitical issues, gender, information behaviors

Full Text: