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Morality in social media

WorkgroupEveryday Media
FundingSAW Postdoc-Network Seed Funding, IWM budget resources
Project description

Users of and other agents in social media (e.g., firms, institutions, and friends) play an increasingly important role as sources of information in digital societies. This information may include knowledge that leads to moral and normative decisions. In the scope of this present project, it will be explored how social media information may affect users‘ moral foundations and consequently their ethical decision-making. Another focus is to examine the role different psychological processes play in fostering or interfering with these potential relations between moral foundations and ethical decision-making.

Further, it is important to dissect the differences between agents (e.g., institutions vs. friends) and situational or individual factors that are relevant – either positively or negatively – for information dissemination through social networks. Based on the findings of an extensive scoping review, the current state of the art of research on morality in social media is identified and described. The resulting findings are fundamental to plan experimental studies. In these studies, potential influencing factors are systematically manipulated and examined, and field data (e.g., YouTube and Twitter data) is collected and investigated.

In recent years, social responsibility and sustainable business strategies have become more and more essential to the daily operations of firms and institutions. Studies in this program show that companies operating in a purpose-driven, social, and sustainable manner are economically more successful and add additional value to society by building and fostering community. They hold important role model responsibilities, which this project aims to show and investigate. Thus, in this project, we aim at showing that social media might be a tool to share and communicate this responsibility efficiently.


Associate Prof. Dr. Nancy Rhodes, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA


Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz
Tel.: +49 7071 979-308