Stockpiling Behavior Impacted by Social Media Use Among Middle-aged Women Consumers in Sweden Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Outbreak

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för hälsa och välfärd

Abstract: The research paper presents qualitative research and aims to examine the impact of social media on consumers’ stockpiling behavior under the situation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sweden since week 11, 2020. Data is collected by interviewing five middle-aged women in Sweden who are either native Swedes or permanent immigrants and who had experienced stockpiling behavior. The interpretation of collected data is discussed based on the two-step flow theory, risk communication and the theory of planned behavior, and the social contagion theory. The qualitative content analysis is used to analyze the data with the results of three themes: being inclined to reach information, realizing why and when to hoard things, and behavior changes and showing confidence. The five women interviewed all use various social media ways to get information about COVID-19. There is a significant correlation between social media use, risk perception formulation, and stockpiling behavior. Participants have their judgment to look into the authenticity and reliability of related news. They trust the official social media reports, underwent the influence of social media reports, two-way online interaction, and other stockpiling consumers. They also experience the decreasing level of risk perception and thus changes in stockpiling behavior.

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