This study aimed to gain insight into the interplay between citizens’ reactions on Twitter and governmental communications as well as their effects on self-reliant behaviour and trust. Two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1, participants first received other citizens’ reactions followed by the government's communications about how to act. Participants received supporting, opposing, mixed, or no reactions from other citizens. In Study 2, participants first received the government's communications with either certain or uncertain crisis information, followed by the different citizens’ reactions. The results showed that citizens’ reactions via Twitter are not necessarily detrimental to the effectiveness of governmental communications regarding self-reliant behaviour. In addition, our findings suggest being careful with providing uncertain governmental communications during a crisis.
- crisis communication
- self-reliant behaviour