Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Craig Bowman

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2021 Isabelle W Jia


Social psychology has long been researching how source credibility influences persuasive communication. With the world transitioning into a society interested in digital consumption, communication, and connection, this paper serves as a literature review of how different characteristics of source credibility can aid influencer credibility through various modes of social media messaging. The examination of three source credibility characteristics: 1) expertise, 2) trustworthiness, and 3) likability showcase how social media influencers can establish credibility with their consumers and build further connections with them. The results underline the importance of source credibility in influencing consumer attitude change and behavior over continued exposure to credible social media content. Influencer credibility is found to strengthen the perceived trustworthiness, connectedness, and identification between influencers and consumers. Ultimately, the paper encourages further research into exploring influencer perceptions held by their consumers, affiliated brands, and comparatively across different social media platforms.