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Examining the influence of mobile
applications and interpersonal discussions
towards political participation
Joseph Jai-sung Yoo, Pei Zheng,
Hyeri Jung, Victoria Y. Chen, Shuning Lu
& Thomas J. Johnson
Introduction
Mobile is ubiquitous.
Using mobile device
-> civic engagement
But how?
Interaction & Mediation
The goal of this study
The influence of mobile application use on
political participation, from the perspective
of the Differential Gains Model and the
Communication Mediation Model.
Mobile Communication & Politics
• Political use of mobile phone technology
• The low cost, easiness and portability
• The pattern of mobile application use for political news and
information and its impact on political participation
Interpersonal Communication
• Soul of democracy
• Online and offline
• Mobile devices: sources for the public to
consume political information and engage in
interpersonal communication
Differential Gains Model
(Scheufele, 2002)
The political effects of news media messages are contingent
upon media’s interaction with interpersonal communication.
Communication Mediation Model
(Shah, Cho, Eveland, Kwak, 2005)
Mass Communication has an influence on political
engagement but such relationship is indirect:
Interpersonal communication mediates the effects of news
media toward political participation.
Hypotheses
H1: The interaction between mobile application use
and online communication is positively related to
H1a) online and H1b) offline participation.
H2: The interaction between mobile application use
and face-to-face communication is positively related
to H2a) online and H2b) offline participation.
Hypotheses
H3: Online communication mediates the
relationship between mobile application use and
a) online and b) offline political participation.
H4: Face-to-face communication mediates the
relationship between mobile application use and
a) online and b) offline political participation.
Methodology
• From one week before to one week after
the 2012 presidential election
• N=1267
• Hierarchical linear regression (Differential Gains)
& Path analysis (Communication Mediation)
Independent variables
• Age, Gender, Race, Education, Income
• Party ties, ideology and political interests
• Reliance on mobile applications
• Online & face-to-face discussion
• Interaction (App x discussion): Differential Gain
Figure (Communication Mediation)
Dependent variables
Results (Differential Gain)
• Online & offline political participations are predicted by reliance
on news applications X online discussion (H1 supported).
• Online discussion: direct effects toward both forms of participation
• Face-to-Face discussion: direct effects toward offline participation
but no interaction effects with mobile apps
(H2 rejected).
• Mobile application: direct effect toward both forms of
political participations
Results (Communication Mediation)
• The path from reliance on mobile applications
toward online participation is mediated by
online discussion.
• The path from reliance on mobile applications
toward offline participation is mediated by
online & face-to-face discussions.
• H3 fully supported, H4 partly supported
Discussion
• Mobile application and online discussion
-> Both mediation and moderation effects
• Portability, connectivity and personalization of mobile
• Smartphone for online political discussion
-> larger network size through weak ties
• Mobilizing individuals in online activities
Conclusion
• Mobile could complement face-to-face talk.
• Need for clearer causal relationships & panel study
• News media companies: development of mobile news
applications to elicit more engagement

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Joseph yoo

  • 1. Tap, scroll down, chat and more? Examining the influence of mobile applications and interpersonal discussions towards political participation Joseph Jai-sung Yoo, Pei Zheng, Hyeri Jung, Victoria Y. Chen, Shuning Lu & Thomas J. Johnson
  • 2. Introduction Mobile is ubiquitous. Using mobile device -> civic engagement But how? Interaction & Mediation
  • 3. The goal of this study The influence of mobile application use on political participation, from the perspective of the Differential Gains Model and the Communication Mediation Model.
  • 4. Mobile Communication & Politics • Political use of mobile phone technology • The low cost, easiness and portability • The pattern of mobile application use for political news and information and its impact on political participation
  • 5. Interpersonal Communication • Soul of democracy • Online and offline • Mobile devices: sources for the public to consume political information and engage in interpersonal communication
  • 6. Differential Gains Model (Scheufele, 2002) The political effects of news media messages are contingent upon media’s interaction with interpersonal communication. Communication Mediation Model (Shah, Cho, Eveland, Kwak, 2005) Mass Communication has an influence on political engagement but such relationship is indirect: Interpersonal communication mediates the effects of news media toward political participation.
  • 7. Hypotheses H1: The interaction between mobile application use and online communication is positively related to H1a) online and H1b) offline participation. H2: The interaction between mobile application use and face-to-face communication is positively related to H2a) online and H2b) offline participation.
  • 8. Hypotheses H3: Online communication mediates the relationship between mobile application use and a) online and b) offline political participation. H4: Face-to-face communication mediates the relationship between mobile application use and a) online and b) offline political participation.
  • 9. Methodology • From one week before to one week after the 2012 presidential election • N=1267 • Hierarchical linear regression (Differential Gains) & Path analysis (Communication Mediation)
  • 10. Independent variables • Age, Gender, Race, Education, Income • Party ties, ideology and political interests • Reliance on mobile applications • Online & face-to-face discussion • Interaction (App x discussion): Differential Gain
  • 13. Results (Differential Gain) • Online & offline political participations are predicted by reliance on news applications X online discussion (H1 supported). • Online discussion: direct effects toward both forms of participation • Face-to-Face discussion: direct effects toward offline participation but no interaction effects with mobile apps (H2 rejected). • Mobile application: direct effect toward both forms of political participations
  • 14. Results (Communication Mediation) • The path from reliance on mobile applications toward online participation is mediated by online discussion. • The path from reliance on mobile applications toward offline participation is mediated by online & face-to-face discussions. • H3 fully supported, H4 partly supported
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17. Discussion • Mobile application and online discussion -> Both mediation and moderation effects • Portability, connectivity and personalization of mobile • Smartphone for online political discussion -> larger network size through weak ties • Mobilizing individuals in online activities
  • 18. Conclusion • Mobile could complement face-to-face talk. • Need for clearer causal relationships & panel study • News media companies: development of mobile news applications to elicit more engagement