Fear, Media and Self-Confidence: Chinese Students’ Willingness to Express Opinion
COVID -19’s early spread in the United States raised many opposing perspectives on wearing a face mask in public, and hate crime towards the Asian community. This study is dedicated to understanding the Chinese students’ willingness to express their opinion about whether people should wear face masks in public before the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended doing so. We draw three factors: “fear of isolation”, “influence of media” and “lack of self-confidence” based on two communication theories “Spiral of Silence Theory” and “Magic Bullet Theory”. We intend to examine the three factors’ influence on Chinese students’ willingness of opinion expression. We employed a survey research method (n=66) and contingency table analysis. We were able to discover trends and patterns that corresponded with the assumptions of Noelle-Neumann, and also the results supported our hypothesis that Chinese students with low-level fear of isolation tend to be more likely to share their opinion on mask wearing in public. Moreover, we surprisingly discovered that opinion efficacy is a significant predictor to predict Chinese students’ willingness to share their opinion through digital platforms.
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