Collective Identity and Online Collective Actions: A Moderated Mediating Model

Linchuan Yang, Hongyu Ma, Hai Jiang, and Tengfei Liu

Abstract

With the rapid development of the Internet, social media became ubiquitous and online collective actions got more and more attention. However, explanations for online collective actions have been less explored. There were a few previous studies comparing online and offline collective actions, which indicated that social identity through group-based anger and collective efficacy indirectly predicted the online collective action intention. This study examined how the frequency of online political discussions moderated the effects of the psychological predictors of online collective actions in cyber-space. There were several undergraduates from Hubei and Sichuan province as the participant in two quantitative studies. The result showed that: (1) collective action intention was predicted by online collective identity. (2) online collective identity through group-based anger ,self - and collective efficacy predicted collective action intention. (3) the frequency of online political discussion on social media significantly moderated the relationship between online collective identity and group-based anger. A higher frequency of online political discussion reduced the impact of collective identity. Findings expanded the understanding of the psychological predictors of online collective actions in cyber-space in help to further study the more complex online collective actions. * This research was supported by the Major Research Plan of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.91324201), and the Distinguished Young Scholars of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.31200795).