Understanding individual psychological and behavioral responses during COVID-19: Application of stimulus-organism-response model



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Telematics and Informatics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Web https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736585323000308?via%3Dihub
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2023.101966
Keywords Cyberchondria; Information seeking; Information providing; Information overload; Crisis; Fear; COVID-19
Attached files
Description To comprehend the nature, implications, risks and consequences of the events of the COVID-19 crisis, individuals largely relied on various online information sources. The features of online information exchange (e.g., conducted on a massive scale, with an abundance of information and unverified sources) led to various behavioral and psychological responses that are not fully un-derstood. This study therefore investigated the relationship between exposure to online infor-mation sources and how individuals sought, forwarded, and provided COVID-19 related information. Anchored in the stimulus-organism-response model, cognitive load theory, and the theory of fear appeal, this study examined the link between the online consumption of COVID-19-related information and psychological and behavioral responses. In the theory development process, we hypothesized the moderating role of levels of fear. The research model included six hypotheses and was empirically verified on self-reported data (N = 425), which was collected in early 2021. The results indicate that continuous exposure to online information sources led to perceived information overload, which further heightened the psychological state of cyber-chondria. Moreover, the act of seeking and providing COVID-19 information was significantly predicted by perceived cyberchondria. The results also suggest that higher levels of fear led to increased levels of seeking and providing COVID-19-related information. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are presented, along with promising areas for future research.

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.