Examining the link between social media uses and gratifications, and political tolerance and dogmatism

Rathnayake, Chamil and Winter, Jenifer S. (2017) Examining the link between social media uses and gratifications, and political tolerance and dogmatism. Policy and Internet, 9 (4). pp. 444-466.

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    Abstract

    The ability of social media to enable new uses and gratifications, and to shape political behavior, has not been discussed adequately in the social media literature. Drawing on a previous study by the authors that converts a framework by Sundar and Limperos (2013) into a social media uses and gratifications scale, this article examines the association between social media uses and gratifications, and political dogmatism and tolerance. A sample of 313 American citizens was used to develop two discriminant models. The models showed that social media uses and gratifications can be used to classify users with high or low levels of political dogmatism and tolerance with more than 70 percent accuracy. The results also indicate that while some gratifications, such as filtering, are common to individuals with high dogmatism as well as users with high tolerance, there were differences in the perception of uses and gratifications between these two groups. This shows that social media are open platforms that do not gratify only positive, open‐minded users.