Why users share the news: A theory of reasoned action-based study on the antecedents of news-sharing behavior


Social media have become an integral part of online news use, affecting how individuals find, consume, and share news. By applying the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), this study investigates the effects of motives, attitude, and intention on news-sharing behavior among German social media users (n = 333). Findings show that news-sharing attitude and subjective norms have a positive effect on news-sharing intention, which in turn has a positive effect on actual news-sharing behavior. Taken together, we see that a new media behavior in the early phases of its societal diffusion—like social media news sharing in Germany in 2015—can mainly be explained by a rational choice logic and is rooted in the motives of socializing and information seeking. This finding thus reflects the double nature of social media as a means for both information retrieval and social grooming.



Communication Research Reports