The Psychology of Political Communication in Social Media

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This is an interdisciplinary study of political science, psychology, and communication that examines the intersection of how social media are used to communicate political views and content. Social media provide an opportunity for users to become increasingly civic minded and engaged. This article examines self-determination theory in how political messages are shared on social media. Social media users were surveyed to determine their political affiliation and social media involvement. Participants also completed a basic psychological needs scale. Results showed that participants with higher levels of autonomy more frequently shared political content. While social media create a global community, most social media users share content relating to local, state, or national issues as opposed to global issues. Political affiliation differences as well as gender, social media use, and self-determination aspects are discussed.