Publics’ communication on controversial sociopolitical issues: extending the situational theory of problem solving

Weiting Tao, Cheng Hong, Wan Hsiu Sunny Tsai, Bora Yook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Capturing a unique moment within a particularly volatile political climate where various issues such as climate change, immigration, and healthcare are increasingly polarized, this survey examines the factors driving publics’ engagement in and disengagement from communication on controversial sociopolitical issues. It applies and expands the situational theory of problem solving (STOPS) by integrating the theoretical insights from the literature of information omission and avoidance. Results not only support the applicability of the STOPS model in explaining publics’ communication on controversial sociopolitical problems but also the viability of integrating two new behavioral outcomes–information omission and avoidance–into the STOPS framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-65
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Controversial issues
  • information avoidance
  • information omission
  • situational theory of problem solving (STOPS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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