#WhyITold: A Pilot Test of Twitter Messages Aimed at Promoting Bystander Intervention against Domestic Violence

Norman C. H. Wong, Eryn Bostwick


This study examined the effectiveness of various messaging via Twitter in persuading bystanders of domestic violence (DV) to intervene on behalf of DV victims. Using Fishbein’s (2000) integrative model of behavioral prediction as a guiding framework, an experiment was conducted with 196 undergraduates from a large Southwestern university. Participants were randomly assigned to read either a: (1) tweet describing warning signs associated with DV motivating bystander intervention, (2) gain or loss framed tweet emphasizing why a bystander chose to intervene, or (3) control tweet that simply provided statistics on the prevalence of DV in the U.S. Results indicate injunctive norms were the best predictor of participants’ intent to intervene in a DV situation, and that the most effective approach to promoting bystander intervention is to highlight warning signs of DV. Implications for practice are also discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/smc.v5i2.2763


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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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