Hall, K. (2020). Public Penitence: Facebook and the Performance of Apology. Social Media + Society.
This is one of the most important parts of this course – I want you to work with your group to design a
follow-up study using the topic Fake News and Rudeness on Facebook. As you work on this discussion, try
to think about what other variable might influence Fake News and Rudeness on Facebook. Let me give you
a few example, though try to get creative with your group. Look at prior research and see if you can use
some of their work as a follow-up to your study. Have fun with it!
Okay, consider some ideas I was thinking about for a follow-up study (Personally, I would recommend the
fourth idea, as there is a lot of research you could draw on regarding apologies, which would make Paper
III much easier to write).
First, you can alter the gender of the Rude Facebook user. Let’s drop the “polite agree” condition for a
moment and only look at the rude disagree versus polite disagree. Within those two disagree conditions,
what if we looked at a male Corey versus a female Corey? Would rude or polite disagreement impact how
participants think about Corey if Corey is a he versus a she? (Note that we would have FOUR conditions in
this design: Male Corey rude vs. male Corey polite vs. female Corey rude vs. female Corey polite).Second, source credibility is a good topic to explore. Have some participants in the rude disagree condition
and others in the polite disagree condition. Then, some participants are told Corey is a high-school student
(which might imply youth and inexperience) while others are told Corey is a college professor (which might
imply age and wisdom – or so your instructor hopes!). Will a rude or polite disagreement be seen differently
across these different sources? Note we would also have four conditions in this design: High School rude
vs. College rude vs. High School polite vs. College polite).
A third idea might involve altering self-esteem or even frustrating people. That is, before they see the
Facebook page, give people a task (like a puzzle or essay or quiz), and then tell some they did terrible and
others they did wonderful. Does exciting vs. frustrating feedback influence their assessments of Corey?
Again, we have four conditions. I bet you can name them by now!
A fourth idea, and one I think is interesting, is to have the usual rude disagree and polite disagree
conditions. But then we add a follow-up apology from Corey to some of the conditions. That is, some
participants see a rude disagree Corey post, but then Corey comes back an hour or so later and says “I’m
sorry, I was wrong. The news I shared was fake. I apologize”. Some participants seen the polite disagree
Corey post, but then an hour later Corey gives the same apology. The last two conditions lack this follow-up
apology. Would an apology be enough to raise ratings of Corey? Again, we have four conditions here.
Finally, you can look at some participant characteristics if you like. You can measure the participants’ own
beliefs in conspiracy theories. Will a participant who tends to believe in such theories rate Corey differently
depending on whether Corey posts a polite versus rude disagreement statement? How about someone low
in beliefs about conspiracy theories? We could also measure political affiliation. Perhaps there is a
difference between Democratic and Republican participants that would impact how they judge the rude or
polite disagreement statement. Just remember that if you choose a participant characteristic as your
second independent variable, you cannot draw cause-effect conclusions (since you cannot randomly
assign someone to be high versus low in belief, and you cannot assign someone to be a Democrat or a
Republican). That is why I would prefer that you manipulate some feature of the study so you can randomly
assign people to one of the four different conditions.
As you can see, there are tons of ways to extend your original study. Work with your classmates to identify
the one you like best, and then let your instructor know. Your instructor will take the consensus vote for the
whole class and let you know what the study will be for study two. In this discussion, I want EACH of you to
do three things. First, tell me which study you want to do (that is, which second independent variable you
find most interesting). Second, give me a reference in APA format for one peer reviewed research article
that has something to do with this second variable. This article does not have to involve Fake News and
Rudeness on Facebook at all, but it must have something to do with your second independent variable.
Third, give me a hypothesis for what you expect to occur if your new independent variable is chosen for the