Effect of Charismatic Signaling in Social Media Settings: Evidence from TED and Twitter (Data)

Published: 19-10-2020| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/td6j468vfp.3
Contributors:
Benjamin Tur,
John Antonakis,
Jennifer Harstad

Description

Effect of Charismatic Signaling in Social Media Settings: Evidence from TED and Twitter Version 3 differs from version 2 because we recoded gender so as to have the same codification across both studies (1= male, 0 = female) Abstract Given the challenges societies face on topics that are not localized (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic, global warming), informal leadership exercised in social media currently characterizes a large part of political and economic communication. Scholars have theorized that charismatic signaling is effective in informal leadership settings; yet empirical evidence remains scarce in understanding a ubiquitous phenomenon that marks our times and plays an important role in shaping public opinion. In this paper, we used two unique data sets extracted from social media to investigate the success of charismatic signaling in informal leadership settings. Social media offers us a standardized medium as well as a natural environment to test our predictions. Using a sample of TED talks and tweets, we coded for objective markers of charisma and found that using more verbal charismatic signals predicted (a) higher views for TED talks as well as higher ratings for the extent to which the talk was found to be inspiring (beyond attractiveness and nonverbal behavior), and (b) more retweets. We discuss the implications of such results for both theory and practice in the media age.

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