Social Media Use and Political Consumerism During the U.S.-China Trade Conflict: An Application of the O-S-R-O-R Model

Yanqin Lu, Tanja Vierrether, Qianxi Wu, Morgan Durfee, Peiqin Chen


Drawing on a national survey conducted among American adults, this study focuses on the trade dispute between the United States and China and explores the mechanisms underlying the relationship between social media news consumption and political consumerism (i.e., boycotting and buycotting). Consistent with the Orientation-Stimulus-Reasoning-Orientation-Response (O-S-R-O-R) model, the findings reveal that social media news consumption (Stimulus) is indirectly associated with political consumerism (Response) via opinion expression (Reasoning) and supportive attitudes toward tariffs imposed on China (second Orientation) are directly related to engagement in political consumerism. This study contributes to the theory building of the O-S-R-O-R model and discusses the implications for the role of social media engagement in public opinion formation about foreign policy issues.


social media, political consumerism, foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, O-S-R-O-R model

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