Tweet valence, volume of abuse, and observers’ dark tetrad personality factors influence victim-blaming and the perceived severity of twitter cyberabuse

Hand, C. J. , Scott, G. G., Brodie, Z. P., Ye, X. and Sereno, S. C. (2021) Tweet valence, volume of abuse, and observers’ dark tetrad personality factors influence victim-blaming and the perceived severity of twitter cyberabuse. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 3, 100056. (doi: 10.1016/j.chbr.2021.100056)

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Abstract

Previous research into Twitter cyberabuse has yielded several findings: victim-blaming (VB) was influenced by victims’ initial tweet-valence; perceived severity (PS) was influenced independently by tweet valence and abuse volume; VB and PS were predicted by observer narcissism and psychopathy. However, this previous research was limited by its narrow focus on celebrity victims, and lack of consideration of observer sadism. The current study investigated 125 observers’ VB and PS perceptions of lay-user cyberabuse, and influence of observers’ Dark Tetrad scores (psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism, sadism). We manipulated initial-tweet valence (negative, neutral, positive) and received abuse volume (low, high). Our results indicated that VB was highest following negative initial tweets; VB was higher following high-volume abuse. PS did not differ across initial-tweet valences; PS was greater following a high abuse volume. Regression analyses revealed that observer sadism predicted VB across initial-tweet valences; psychopathy predicted PS when initial tweets were ‘emotive’ (negative, positive), whereas Machiavellianism predicted PS when they were neutral. Our results show that perceptions of lay-user abuse are influenced interactively by victim-generated content and received abuse volume. Our current results contrast with perceptions of celebrity-abuse, which is mostly determined by victim-generated content. Findings are contextualised within the Warranting Theory of impression formation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hand, Dr Christopher and Sereno, Dr Sara
Authors: Hand, C. J., Scott, G. G., Brodie, Z. P., Ye, X., and Sereno, S. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Computers in Human Behavior Reports
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2451-9588
ISSN (Online):2451-9588
Published Online:25 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Computers in Human Behavior Reports 3: 100056
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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