Communication use in the times of the coronavirus. A cross-cultural study



Palabras clave:

Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus, Pandemics, Preventive behavior, Media consumption, Uses and gratifications, Media use, Exposure conditions, Cross-cultural survey, Factor analysis, Mediation analysis, Process.


The results of an online cross-cultural survey conducted from mid-March to mid-April 2020 in various countries (N = 789) are presented. The theoretical basis of this work is uses and gratifications theory. This work provides a novel contribution regarding communication use in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The results indicate that the consumption of information about the coronavirus is structured along four latent dimensions: (a) specialized health information on the Internet, official websites, and obtained through health personnel; (b) through “visual” social media; (c) through “written” social media and face-to-face contacts; and (d) through the mass media. Significant differences are found in all the dimensions of consumption depending on age and country of residence. Furthermore, it is observed that high consumption of information about the coronavirus increases perceived knowledge on the subject, which in return leads to the adoption of preventive measures. The present work provides a first snapshot of communication use in the face of the coronavirus pandemic crisis and provides a portrait of the behavior of communication users in the month immediately after the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. It can be concluded that communication has played a fundamental role in transmitting preventive information in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Biografía del autor/a

Juan-José Igartua, El profesional de la información

Juan-José Igartua es catedrático de universidad del área de Comunicación Audiovisual y Publicidad del Departamento de Sociología y Comunicación de laUniversidad de Salamanca (España), donde dirige el Observatorio de los Contenidos Audiovisuales (OCA,, Grupo de Investigación Reconocido (GIR). Su campo de especialización es la Psicología de los Medios de Comunicación (Media Psychology) y los Métodos de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales y en Comunicación. Ha publicado en revistas internacionales de prestigio como Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of European Social Psychology, International Journal of Psychology, International Migration, Journal of Media Psychology, entre otras

Félix Ortega-Mohedano, Universidad de Salamanca

Félix Ortega-Mohedano es profesor de la Universidad de Salamanca, miembro del Observatorio de los Contenidos Audiovisuales (OCA), Director del Máster en Comunicación Audiovisual: Investigación e Innovación y secretario académico del Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad de Salamanca. Doctor en Comunicación, Cultura y Educación y licenciado en Economía por la Universidad de Salamanca. Ha desarrollado su trabajo en Investigación de Audiencias, Metodologías de Investigación, Estructura y Economía audiovisual, Métodos Computacionales y Comunicación y Educación, publicando artículos y libros a nivel nacional e internacional.

Carlos Arcila-Calderón, Universidad de Salamanca

Carlos Arcila-Calderón es profesor de la Universidad de Salamanca, miembro del Observatorio de los Contenidos Audiovisuales (OCA) y editor de la revista Disertaciones. Es doctor europeo en comunicación, cambio social y desarrollo por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid y Máster en Data Science y Máster en Periodismo por laUniversidad Rey Juan Carlos. Con anterioridad desarrolló su carrera en la Universidad del Rosario y en la Universidad delNorte de Colombia, y en la Universidad de Los Andes Universidad Católica Andrés Bello de Venezuela.


Bae, Mikyeung (2018). “Understanding the effect of the discrepancy between sought and obtained gratification on social networking site users’ satisfaction and continuance intention”. Computers in human behavior, v. 79, pp. 137-153.

Ball-Rokeach, Sandra J.; DeFleur, Melvin L. (1976). “A dependency model of mass-media effects”. Communication research, v. 3, n. 1, pp. 3-21.

Baxter, Leslie A; Babbie, Earl (2004). The basics of communication research. Toronto: Thomson Wadsworth. ISBN: 0 534 50836 7

Chen, Gina M. (2011). “Tweet this: a uses and gratifications perspective on how active Twitter use gratifies a need to connect with others”. Computers in human behavior, v. 27, n. 2, pp. 755-762.

Daries-Ramón, Natalia; Ferrer-Rosell, Berta; Cristóbal-Fransi, Eduard; Mariné-Roig, Estela (2018). “¿Postureo o disfrute de la experiencia gastronómica? Efectos de la reputación y la experiencia en la recomendación de los restaurantes de alto nivel”. Cuadernos de turismo, v. 42, pp. 119-136.

Ezumah, Bellarmine A. (2013). “College students’ use of social media: site preferences, uses and gratifications theory revisited”. International journal of business and social science, v. 4, n. 5, pp. 27-34.

Fisher, Robert J. (1993). “Social desirability bias and the validity of indirect questioning”. Journal of consumer research, v. 20, n. 2, pp. 303-315.

Galinha, Iolanda-Costa; Pais-Ribeiro, José-Luis (2005). “Contribuição para o estudo da versão portuguesa da positive and negativeaffect schedule (Panas): II-Estudo psicométrico”. Análise psicológica, v. 23, n. 2, pp. 219-227.

Galinha, Iolanda-Costa; Pereira, Cicero-Roberto; Esteves, Francisco (2014). “Versão reduzida da escala portuguesa de afeto positivo e negativo-Panas-VRP: Análise fatorial confirmatória e invariância temporal”. Psicologia, v. 28, n. 1, pp. 50-62.

González-Vázquez, Alejandro; Igartua, Juan-José (2018). “¿Por qué los adolescentes juegan videojuegos? Propuesta de una escala de motivos para jugar videojuegos a partir de la teoría de usos y gratificaciones”. Cuadernos info, v. 42, pp. 135-146.

Hayes, Andrew F. (2018). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis, 2ª ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 978 1 462534654

Hossain, Alamgir; Kim, Minho; Jahan, Nusrat (2019). “Can ‘liking’ behavior lead to usage intention on Facebook? Uses and gratification theory perspective”. Sustainability, v. 11, n. 4, article 1166.

Igartua, Juan-José (2006). Métodos cuantitativos de investigación en comunicación. Barcelona: Bosch. ISBN: 978 84 97902717

Igartua, Juan-José; Humanes, María-Luisa (2004). Teoría e investigación en comunicación social. Madrid: Síntesis. ISBN: 84 9756 226 7

Igartua, Juan-José (2015). “Psicología social de los medios de comunicación”. En: Sabucedo, José M.; Morales, J. Francisco. Psicología social. Madrid: Editorial Médica Panamericana, pp. 371-391. ISBN: 978 84 9835 904 6

Igartua, Juan-José; Rodríguez-De-Dios, Isabel (2016). “Correlatos motivacionales del uso y la satisfacción con Facebook en jóvenes españoles”. Cuadernos info, v. 38, pp. 107-119.

Karapanos, Evangelos; Teixeira, Pedro; Gouveia, Ruben (2016). “Need fulfillment and experiences on social media: a case on Facebook and WhatsApp”. Computers in human behavior, v. 55, pp. 888-897.

Katz, Elihu; Blumer, Jay G.; Gurevitch, Michael (1973). “Uses and gratifications research”. Public opinion quarterly, v. 37, n. 4, pp. 509-523.

Khan, Muhammad L. (2017). “Social media engagement: what motivates user participation and consumption on YouTube?”. Computers in human behavior, v. 66, pp. 236-247.

Korhan, Orhan; Ersoy, Metin (2016). “Usability and functionality factors of the social network site application users from the perspective of uses and gratification theory”. Quality & quantity, v. 50, n. 4, pp. 1799-1816.

Krcmar, Marina (2017). “Uses and gratifications: basic concepts”. In: Rössler, Patric; Hoffner, Cynthia A.; van Zoonen Liesbet. The international encyclopedia of media effects. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 1997-2009. ISBN: 978 1 118784044

LaRose, Robert; Eastin, Matthew S. (2004). “A social cognitive theory of Internet uses and gratifications: Toward a new model of media attendance”. Journal of broadcasting & electronic media, v. 48, n. 3, pp. 358-377.

Leung, Louis; Wei, Ran (2000). “More than just talk on the move: uses and gratifications of the cellular phone”. Journalism & mass communication quarterly, v. 77, n. 2, pp. 308-320.

McFadden, SarahAnn. M.; Malik, Amyn A.; Aguolu, Obianuju G.; Willebrand, Kathryn S.; Omer, Saad B. (2020). “Perceptions of the adult US population regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak”. PloS one, v. 15, n. 4.

Papacharissi, Zizi; Rubin, Alan M. (2000). “Predictors of Internet use”. Journal of broadcasting & electronic media, v. 44, n. 2, pp. 175-196.

Phua, Joe; Jin, Seunga V.; Kim, Jihoon J. (2017). “Uses and gratifications of social networking sites for bridging and bonding social capital: A comparison of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat”. Computers in human behavior, v. 72, pp. 115-122.

Potter, W. James (2013). “A general framework for media psychology scholarship”. In: Dill Karen E. The Oxford handbook of media psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 423-448. ISBN: 978 0 195398809

Quan-Haase, Anabel; Young, Alyson L. (2010). “Uses and gratifications of social media: A comparison of Facebook and instant messaging”. Bulletin of science, technology & society, v. 30, n. 5, pp. 350-361.

Rubin, Alan M. (2009a). “Uses and gratifications: an evolving perspective of media effects”. In: Nabi Robin L.; Oliver, Mary B. Media processes and effects. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 147-159. ISBN: 978 1 412959964

Rubin, Alan M. (2009b). “The uses-and-gratifications perspective of media effects”. In: Bryant, Jennings; Oliver, Mary B. Media effects: advances in theory and reserach. New York, NY: Rouledge, pp. 165-184. ISBN: 978 0 203877111

Sandín, Bonifacio; Chorot, Paloma; Lostao, Lourdes; Joiner, Thomas E.; Santed, Miguel A.; Valiente, Rosa M. (1999). “Escalas Panas de afecto positivo y negativo: validación factorial y convergencia transcultural”. Psicothema, v. 11, n. 1, pp. 37-51.

Scherer, Helmut (2017). “Connecting media use to media effects”. In: Rössler, Patric; Hoffner, Cynthia A.; Van Zoonen, Liesbet. The international encyclopedia of media effects. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 137-148. ISBN: 978 1 118784044

Sheldon, Pavica; Rauschnabel, Philipp A.; Antony, Mary G.; Car, Sandra (2017). “A cross-cultural comparison of Croatian and American social network sites: Exploring cultural differences in motives for Instagram use”. Computers in human behavior, v. 75, pp. 643-651.

Sjöblom, Max; Hamari, Juho (2017). “Why do people watch others play video games? An empirical study on the motivations of Twitch users”. Computers in human behavior, v. 75, pp. 985-996.

Terracciano, Antonio; McCrae, Robert R.; Costa Jr., Paul T. (2003). “Factorial and construct validity of the Italian positive and negative affect schedule (Panas)”. European journal of psychological assessment, v. 19, n. 2, pp. 131-141.

Valkenburg, Patti M.; Peter, Jochen (2013). “The differential susceptibility to media effects model”. Journal of communication, v. 63, n. 2, pp. 221-243.

Vizcaíno-Laorga, Ricardo; Catalina-García, Beatriz; López-De-Ayala-López, María-Cruz (2019). “Participación y compromiso de los jóvenes en el entorno digital. Usos de las redes sociales y percepción de sus consecuencias”. Revista Latina de comunicación social, v. 74, pp. 554-572.

Wang, Chuang; Lee, Matthew K; Hua, Zhongsheng (2015). “A theory of social media dependence: evidence from microblog users”. Decision support systems, v. 69, pp. 40-49.

Wang, Cuiyan; Pan, Riyu; Wan, Xiaoyang; Tan, Yilin; Xu, Linkang; Ho, Cyrus S.; Ho, Roger C. (2020). “Immediate psychological responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic among the general population in China”. International journal of environmental research and public health, v. 17, n. 5, p. 1729.

Watson, David; Clark, Lee A.; Tellegen, Auke (1988). “Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the Panas scales”. Journal of personality and social psychology, v. 54, n. 6.




Cómo citar

Igartua, J.-J., Ortega-Mohedano, F., & Arcila-Calderón, C. (2020). Communication use in the times of the coronavirus. A cross-cultural study. Profesional De La Información, 29(3).



Artículos de investigación Covid-19 / Covid-19 research articles


La descarga de datos todavía no está disponible.