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Opting Into Information Flows: Partial Information Control on Facebook
Unformatted Document Text:  0.493). 3 Outcome Variables In order to determine whether exposure to information on Facebook makes any difference, a second model will be estimated using that exposure as an independent variable. In this second model, the question is what predicts whether a respondent reports changing his or her mind due to information seen on Facebook. Thus the outcome variable answers “Specifically, have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on something you saw on Facebook?” Response categories varied from “No, never” to “Yes, frequently” on a four point scale, with mean 1.387 and standard deviation 0.732. 4 Analysis and Discussion Who Uses Facebook to Obtain Information? Many of the variables discussed above have the potential to impact one’s tendency to rely on Facebook for information. As a result, I included demographics (gender), various measures of Facebook use that might predict whether or not respondents tend to use Face- book for information (Time, Homogeneity, Closeness, and Intensity), and the measure of news use. Because the dependent variable measuring tendency to use Facebook as a source of information consists of four ordinal categories, I estimated an ordered logistic regression predicting frequency of use of Facebook for information. The results of this model are found below, in Table 1. As seen in the table, three variables emerge as significant. Gender is highly significant 3 Other typical demographic variables were not included for several reasons. Age varied only slightly, as the sample was entirely composed of college undergraduates that tend to range between 18 and 23. Racewas also excluded for a similar reason - the vast majority of the sample was non-Hispanic Caucasian. 4 Most respondents reported not being influenced by things seen on Facebook, and as a result the distri- bution of this variable is heavily right-skewed. Opting into Information Flows 14

Authors: Bode, Leticia.
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0.493).
3
Outcome Variables
In order to determine whether exposure to information on Facebook makes any difference,
a second model will be estimated using that exposure as an independent variable. In this
second model, the question is what predicts whether a respondent reports changing his or her
mind due to information seen on Facebook. Thus the outcome variable answers “Specifically,
have you ever changed your opinion on an issue based on something you saw on Facebook?”
Response categories varied from “No, never” to “Yes, frequently” on a four point scale, with
mean 1.387 and standard deviation 0.732.
4
Analysis and Discussion
Who Uses Facebook to Obtain Information?
Many of the variables discussed above have the potential to impact one’s tendency to
rely on Facebook for information. As a result, I included demographics (gender), various
measures of Facebook use that might predict whether or not respondents tend to use Face-
book for information (Time, Homogeneity, Closeness, and Intensity), and the measure of
news use. Because the dependent variable measuring tendency to use Facebook as a source
of information consists of four ordinal categories, I estimated an ordered logistic regression
predicting frequency of use of Facebook for information. The results of this model are found
below, in Table 1.
As seen in the table, three variables emerge as significant. Gender is highly significant
3
Other typical demographic variables were not included for several reasons. Age varied only slightly, as
the sample was entirely composed of college undergraduates that tend to range between 18 and 23. Race
was also excluded for a similar reason - the vast majority of the sample was non-Hispanic Caucasian.
4
Most respondents reported not being influenced by things seen on Facebook, and as a result the distri-
bution of this variable is heavily right-skewed.
Opting into Information Flows 14


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