Title: “The Google effect: Extending communication channel behavior in diffusion of innovations theory”
Abstract: This study employed qualitative methods, conducting 44 in-depth interviews with biological mothers of newborns to understand women’s perceptions and use of new media, mass media and interpersonal communication channels in relation to health issues. Findings contribute to theoretical and practical understandings of the role of communication channels in diffusion of innovations theory. This study provides a foundation for the use of qualitative research to advance applications of diffusion of innovations theory. Results suggest that new media is a new communication channel with new rules. In particular, pregnancy and the post-partum period emerged as a time when campaign planners can access women in new ways online. As a result, campaign planners could benefit from introducing new ideas online and capitalizing on the strength of weak ties favored in new media. These findings offer an opportunity to better understand patient-information seeking through the lens of diffusion of innovations theory.
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