14% of Americans [say that they] have changed their mind about an issue because of something they saw on social media

Young men are more than twice as likely than the general public to say they changed their mind on an issue because of social media. Americans who identify as Democrats, black, or Hispanic are also more likely than the general public to report change their minds because of social media.

The survey seems to have asked people to report on their own behavior — it didn’t stick people in a laboratory and measure their opinions before and after being exposed to social media. (Hence, I added “say that they” to the headline.)

The study didn’t track what issues people changed their minds about, or whether there might be a cultural reason why older, white Americans might be less likely to tell a pollster they changed their minds due to social media. Obviously a demographic that uses social media less is less likely to report that social media caused them to change their minds.

Certain groups, particularly young men, are more likely than others to say they’ve modified their views because of social media. Around three-in-ten men ages 18 to 29 (29%) say their views on a political or social issue changed in the past year due to social media. This is roughly twice the share saying this among all Americans and more than double the shares among men and women ages 30 and older (12% and 11%, respectively).

There are also differences by race and ethnicity, according to the new survey. Around one-in-five black (19%) and Hispanic (22%) Americans say their views changed due to social media, compared with 11% of whites. —Pew Research Center