Impact of Online Cross-Cutting Exposure on Political Participation & Social Anxiety

Maria Naureen Shahid, Seong Jae Min, Asfia Obaid, Waseem Hassan


Purpose: This study contributes to the idea that the more nuanced human relationships and interpersonal communication structure need to be explored to better understand users’ political actions.

Design/methodology/approach: Survey design (deductive approach).

Findings: Cross-cutting exposure influence users’ political participation such that disagreement from close-ties is negatively associated with political participation, whereas disagreement from weak-ties is positively associated with political participation. Users’ political participation and social anxiety is further strengthened when they are highly engaged with the disagreement coming from weak-ties.

Research limitation: With 83% of the respondents between 18-35 years of age, this study represents the results of young lot, mostly.

Research Implications: The study contributes to the ongoing debate on social media’s effectiveness and whether cross-cutting exposure encourages or discourages political participation. It also contributes to the stream of literature on the differentiation between close-ties and weak-ties and the effects of disagreement coming from each of them.

Practical implications: This study aids in political consultants and campaign managers understanding of the effects of communication on people’s political and psychological attitudes in various contextual and cultural settings.

Originality/value: This study is among the first that investigates the applicability of cross-cutting exposure to non-Western context, where social media use is highly popular and have found comparable findings. In addition to that, this is one of the few studies to examine the impact of cross cutting exposure on social anxiety.


Cross-cutting exposure; social media; political participation; Social anxiety

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International Journal of Marketing, Communication and New Media

ISSN: 2182-9306

DOI: 10.54663/2182-9306

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