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Archive for the ‘Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking’ Category

Networking for Philanthropy: Increasing Volunteer Behavior via Social Networking Sites

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Networking for Philanthropy: Increasing Volunteer Behavior via Social Networking Sites
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Social networking sites (SNSs) provide a unique social venue to engage the young generation in philanthropy through their networking capabilities. An integrated model that incorporates social capital into the Theory of Reasoned Action is developed to explain volunteer behavior through social networks. As expected, volunteer behavior was predicted by volunteer intention, which was influenced by attitudes and subjective norms. In addition, social capital, an outcome of the extensive use of SNSs, was as an important driver of users’ attitude and subjective norms toward volunteering via SNSs.

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First Comes Social Networking, Then Comes Marriage? Characteristics of Americans Married 2005–2012 Who Met Through Social Networking Sites

April 10, 2014 Comments off

First Comes Social Networking, Then Comes Marriage? Characteristics of Americans Married 2005–2012 Who Met Through Social Networking Sites
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Although social networking sites (SNS) have become increasingly prevalent and integrated into the lives of users, the role of SNS in courtship is relatively unknown. The present manuscript reports on the characteristics of Americans married between 2005 and 2012 who met through SNS drawn from a weighted national sample (N=18,527). Compared to other online meetings (i.e., dating sites, online communities, one-on-one communication), individuals who met through SNS were younger, married more recently, and were more likely to be African American. Compared with offline meetings, individuals who met through SNS were more likely to be younger, male, African American and Hispanic, married more recently, and frequent Internet users with higher incomes. Trends suggest an increasing proportion of individuals are meeting using SNS, necessitating further research on factors that influence romantic relational development through SNS.

Unpopular, Overweight, and Socially Inept: Reconsidering the Stereotype of Online Gamers

April 9, 2014 Comments off

Unpopular, Overweight, and Socially Inept: Reconsidering the Stereotype of Online Gamers
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Online gaming has become an activity associated with a highly specific, caricatured, and often negative image. This “stereotype” has permeated the collective consciousness, as online gamers have become common caricatures in popular media. A lack of comprehensive demographic inquiries into the online gaming population has made it difficult to dispute these stereotypical characteristics and led to rising concerns about the validity of these stereotypes. The current study aims to clarify the basis of these negative characterizations, and determine whether online video game players display the social, physical, and psychological shortcomings stereotypically attributed them. Sampling and recruiting was conducted using a two-stage approach. First, a representative sample of 50,000 individuals aged 14 and older who were asked about their gaming behavior in an omnibus telephone survey. From this sample, 4,500 video game players were called for a second telephone interview, from which the current data were collected. Only those participants who completed all of the questions relating to video game play were retained for the current analysis (n=2,550). Between- and within-group analyses were enlisted to uncover differences between online, offline, and nongame playing communities across varying degrees of involvement. The results indicate that the stereotype of online gamers is not fully supported empirically. However, a majority of the stereotypical attributes was found to hold a stronger relationship with more involved online players than video game players as a whole, indicating an empirical foundation for the unique stereotypes that have emerged for this particular subgroup of video game players.

Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants’ Social Media Postings

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants’ Social Media Postings
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Job applicants and incumbents often use social media for personal communications allowing for direct observation of their social communications “unfiltered” for employer consumption. As such, these data offer a glimpse of employees in settings free from the impression management pressures present during evaluations conducted for applicant screening and research purposes. This study investigated whether job applicants’ (N=175) personality characteristics are reflected in the content of their social media postings. Participant self-reported social media content related to (a) photos and text-based references to alcohol and drug use and (b) criticisms of superiors and peers (so-called “badmouthing” behavior) were compared to traditional personality assessments. Results indicated that extraverted candidates were prone to postings related to alcohol and drugs. Those low in agreeableness were particularly likely to engage in online badmouthing behaviors. Evidence concerning the relationships between conscientiousness and the outcomes of interest was mixed.

The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce

April 8, 2014 Comments off

The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The purpose of this study was to examine how social networking site (SNS) use, specifically Twitter use, influences negative interpersonal relationship outcomes. This study specifically examined the mediational effect of Twitter-related conflict on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes, and how this mechanism may be contingent on the length of the romantic relationship. A total of 581 Twitter users aged 18 to 67 years (Mage=29, SDage=8.9) completed an online survey questionnaire. Moderation–mediation regression analyses using bootstrapping methods indicated that Twitter-related conflict mediated the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes. The length of the romantic relationship, however, did not moderate the indirect effect on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes. The results from this study suggest that active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners, which in turn leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce. This indirect effect is not contingent on the length of the romantic relationship. The current study adds to the growing body of literature investigating SNS use and romantic relationship outcomes.

Face to Face Versus Facebook: Does Exposure to Social Networking Web Sites Augment or Attenuate Physiological Arousal Among the Socially Anxious?

March 5, 2014 Comments off

Face to Face Versus Facebook: Does Exposure to Social Networking Web Sites Augment or Attenuate Physiological Arousal Among the Socially Anxious?
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networkin

The present study tested two competing hypotheses about the effect of Facebook exposure on the physiological arousal level of participants who then encountered the stimulus person in a face-to-face situation. Facebook exposure may attenuate later arousal by providing increased comfort and confidence, but it is also possible that Facebook exposure will augment arousal, particularly among the socially anxious. Participants completed a measure of social anxiety and were exposed to a stimulus person via Facebook, face to face, or both. Galvanic skin response was recorded during the exposures to the stimulus person. Results were consistent with the augmentation hypothesis: a prior exposure on Facebook will lead to increased arousal during a face-to-face encounter, particularly for those high in social anxiety.

Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants’ Social Media Postings

October 10, 2013 Comments off

Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants’ Social Media Postings
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Job applicants and incumbents often use social media for personal communications allowing for direct observation of their social communications “unfiltered” for employer consumption. As such, these data offer a glimpse of employees in settings free from the impression management pressures present during evaluations conducted for applicant screening and research purposes. This study investigated whether job applicants’ (N=175) personality characteristics are reflected in the content of their social media postings. Participant self-reported social media content related to (a) photos and text-based references to alcohol and drug use and (b) criticisms of superiors and peers (so-called “badmouthing” behavior) were compared to traditional personality assessments. Results indicated that extraverted candidates were prone to postings related to alcohol and drugs. Those low in agreeableness were particularly likely to engage in online badmouthing behaviors. Evidence concerning the relationships between conscientiousness and the outcomes of interest was mixed.

Who Commits Virtual Identity Suicide? Differences in Privacy Concerns, Internet Addiction, and Personality Between Facebook Users and Quitters

September 18, 2013 Comments off

Who Commits Virtual Identity Suicide? Differences in Privacy Concerns, Internet Addiction, and Personality Between Facebook Users and Quitters
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Social networking sites such as Facebook attract millions of users by offering highly interactive social communications. Recently, a counter movement of users has formed, deciding to leave social networks by quitting their accounts (i.e., virtual identity suicide). To investigate whether Facebook quitters (n=310) differ from Facebook users (n=321), we examined privacy concerns, Internet addiction scores, and personality. We found Facebook quitters to be significantly more cautious about their privacy, having higher Internet addiction scores, and being more conscientious than Facebook users. The main self-stated reason for committing virtual identity suicide was privacy concerns (48 percent). Although the adequacy of privacy in online communication has been questioned, privacy is still an important issue in online social communications.

Social Networking Sites in Romantic Relationships: Attachment, Uncertainty, and Partner Surveillance on Facebook

August 27, 2013 Comments off

Social Networking Sites in Romantic Relationships: Attachment, Uncertainty, and Partner Surveillance on Facebook
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Social networking sites serve as both a source of information and a source of tension between romantic partners. Previous studies have investigated the use of Facebook for monitoring former and current romantic partners, but why certain individuals engage in this behavior has not been fully explained. College students (N=328) participated in an online survey that examined two potential explanatory variables for interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES) of romantic partners: attachment style and relational uncertainty. Attachment style predicted both uncertainty and IES, with preoccupieds and fearfuls reporting the highest levels. Uncertainty did not predict IES, however. Future directions for research on romantic relationships and online surveillance are explored.

Understanding Differences in Sexting Behaviors Across Gender, Relationship Status, and Sexual Identity, and the Role of Expectancies in Sexting

August 13, 2013 Comments off

Understanding Differences in Sexting Behaviors Across Gender, Relationship Status, and Sexual Identity, and the Role of Expectancies in Sexting
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Sexting, or the exchange of sexually explicit material via Internet social-networking site or mobile phone, is an increasingly prevalent behavior. The study sought to (1) identify expectancies regarding sexting behaviors, (2) examine how demographics (i.e., gender, sexual identity, relationship status) might be differentially related to sexting expectancies and behaviors, and (3) examine whether these concurrent relationships are consistent with a theoretical causal model in which sexting expectancies influence sexting behaviors. The sample consisted of 278 undergraduate students (mean age=21.0 years, SD=4.56; 53.8% female; 76.3% caucasian). Factor analyses supported the validity and reliability of the Sextpectancies Measure (α=0.85–0.93 across subscales) and indicated two expectancy domains each for both sending and receiving sexts: positive expectancies (sexual-related and affect-related) and negative expectancies. Males reported stronger positive expectancies (F=4.64, p=0.03) while females reported stronger negative expectancies (F=6.11, p=0.01) about receiving sexts. There were also differences across relationship status regarding negative expectancies (F=2.25, p=0.05 for sending; F=4.24, p=0.002 for receiving). There were also significant effects of positive (F=45.98, p<0.001 for sending, F=22.42, p<0.001 for receiving) and negative expectancies (F=36.65, p=0.02 sending, F=14.41, p<0.001 receiving) on sexting behaviors (η2 from 0.04–0.13). College students reported both positive and negative sextpectancies, although sextpectancies and sexting varied significantly across gender, race, sexual identity, and relationship status. Concurrent relationships were consistent with the causal model of sextpectancies influencing sexting behaviors, and this study serves as the first test of this model, which could inform future prevention strategies to mitigate sexting risks.

Professors’ Facebook Content Affects Students’ Perceptions and Expectations

May 1, 2013 Comments off

Professors’ Facebook Content Affects Students’ Perceptions and Expectations

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Facebook users must make choices about level of self-disclosure, and this self-disclosure can influence perceptions of the profile’s author. We examined whether the specific type of self-disclosure on a professor’s profile would affect students’ perceptions of the professor and expectations of his classroom. We created six Facebook profiles for a fictitious male professor, each with a specific emphasis: politically conservative, politically liberal, religious, family oriented, socially oriented, or professional. Undergraduate students randomly viewed one profile and responded to questions that assessed their perceptions and expectations. The social professor was perceived as less skilled but more popular, while his profile was perceived as inappropriate and entertaining. Students reacted more strongly and negatively to the politically focused profiles in comparison to the religious, family, and professional profiles. Students reported being most interested in professional information on a professor’s Facebook profile, yet they reported being least influenced by the professional profile. In general, students expressed neutrality about their interest in finding and friending professors on Facebook. These findings suggest that students have the potential to form perceptions about the classroom environment and about their professors based on the specific details disclosed in professors’ Facebook profiles.

Anger on the Internet: The Perceived Value of Rant-Sites

March 18, 2013 Comments off

Anger on the Internet: The Perceived Value of Rant-Sites

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Despite evidence that anger is routinely expressed over the Internet via weblogs, social networking Web sites, and other venues, no published research has explored the way in which anger is experienced and expressed online. Consequently, we know very little about how anger is experienced in such settings. Two studies were conducted to explore how people experience and express their anger on a particular type of Web site, known as a rant-site. Study 1 surveyed rant-site visitors to better understand the perceived value of the Web sites and found that while they become relaxed immediately after posting, they also experience more anger than most and express their anger in maladaptive ways. Study 2 explored the emotional impact of reading and writing rants and found that for most participants, reading and writing rants were associated with negative shifts in mood.

Cyberhugs: Creating a Voice for Chronic Pain Sufferers Through Technology

March 18, 2013 Comments off

Cyberhugs: Creating a Voice for Chronic Pain Sufferers Through Technology

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Chronic pain is a pervasive and expensive public health problem affecting roughly one-third of the American population. The inability of language to accurately convey pain expressions combined with the social stigmas associated with discussing pain persuade many sufferers to remain silent about their pain. Gender politics and fear of professional repercussions further encourage silence. This article explores the need for a safe and secure place for chronic pain sufferers to talk of their pain experiences. The extent to which digital communication technology can fulfill this need is examined. This descriptive study examines the use of one online chronic pain management workshop for its ability to create an engaged community of choice. Workshop admittance was based on participants having a qualifying chronic pain condition. A thematic discourse analysis is conducted of all entries chronic pain participants posted. In addition to goal setting, participants discuss the ways in which pain affects them on a daily basis. Two themes emerge: validation and encouragement. This study suggests that chronic pain users need a discursive space to legitimate their chronic pain identity. It confirms that online websites and virtual audiences facilitate disclosure and allow for authentic communication. The benefits of computer-mediated discussion as well as its limitations are examined.

Prevalence and Patterns of Sexting Among Ethnic Minority Urban High School Students

March 1, 2013 Comments off

Prevalence and Patterns of Sexting Among Ethnic Minority Urban High School Students

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Although sexting among U.S. youth has received much popular media attention, there are only limited data on its prevalence among ethnic minority youth. This study, therefore, specifically examined the prevalence and patterns of sexting (sending and/or receiving a nude or semi-nude picture/video or a sexual text-only message) among a sample of black and Hispanic youth. Data from 1,034 tenth graders from a large, urban school district in southeast Texas were used to calculate the prevalence of sexting by gender–race/ethnicity. Overlap among sexting behaviors was also examined. Electronic surveys were administered via an audio–computer-assisted self-interview on laptop computers. Prevalence estimates were obtained, and chi-square analyses were conducted to compare the distribution of sexting behaviors by gender–race/ethnicity subgroups. More than 20% of students reported sending either a nude or semi-nude picture/video or a sexual text-only message (jointly referred to as a “sext”), and more than 30% reported receiving a sext. Sexts were also frequently shared with unintended recipients. Black males and females reported similar prevalence estimates for sexting behaviors. However, they were more likely than Hispanic males to participate in some sexting behaviors. Hispanic females reported the lowest estimates for sexting behaviors for all gender–race/ethnicity subgroups. Many youth who sent or received a nude or semi-nude picture/video were also likely to have sent or received sexual text-only messages. The results of this study indicate that sexting is prevalent among ethnic minority youth. However, more research is needed to understand the specific context and circumstances around which sexting occurs in this population.

Paying for What Was Free: Lessons from the New York Times Paywall

October 31, 2012 Comments off

Paying for What Was Free: Lessons from the New York Times Paywall

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

In a national online longitudinal survey, participants reported their attitudes and behaviors in response to the recently implemented metered paywall by the New York Times. Previously free online content now requires a digital subscription to access beyond a small free monthly allotment. Participants were surveyed shortly after the paywall was announced and again 11 weeks after it was implemented to understand how they would react and adapt to this change. Most readers planned not to pay and ultimately did not. Instead, they devalued the newspaper, visited its Web site less frequently, and used loopholes, particularly those who thought the paywall would lead to inequality. Results of an experimental justification manipulation revealed that framing the paywall in terms of financial necessity moderately increased support and willingness to pay. Framing the paywall in terms of a profit motive proved to be a noncompelling justification, sharply decreasing both support and willingness to pay. Results suggest that people react negatively to paying for previously free content, but change can be facilitated with compelling justifications that emphasize fairness.

See: For New York Times readers, fairness matters when it comes to paying for content (EurekAlert!)

Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with PostBreakup Recovery and Personal Growth

September 19, 2012 Comments off

Facebook Surveillance of Former Romantic Partners: Associations with PostBreakup Recovery and Personal Growth

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Previous research has found that continuing offline contact with an ex-romantic partner following a breakup may disrupt emotional recovery. The present study examined whether continuing online contact with an ex-partner through remaining Facebook friends and/or engaging in surveillance of the ex-partner’s Facebook page inhibited postbreakup adjustment and growth above and beyond offline contact. Analysis of the data provided by 464 participants revealed that Facebook surveillance was associated with greater current distress over the breakup, more negative feelings, sexual desire, and longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth. Participants who remained Facebook friends with the ex-partner, relative to those who did not remain Facebook friends, reported less negative feelings, sexual desire, and longing for the former partner, but lower personal growth. All of these results emerged after controlling for offline contact, personality traits, and characteristics of the former relationship and breakup that tend to predict postbreakup adjustment. Overall, these findings suggest that exposure to an ex-partner through Facebook may obstruct the process of healing and moving on from a past relationship.

See: Can post-breakup Facebook surveillance delay emotional recovery? (EurekAlert!)

We’ll Miss You Steve: How the Death of a Technology Innovator Emotionally Impacts Those Who Use and Love His Digital Devices

July 12, 2012 Comments off

We’ll Miss You Steve: How the Death of a Technology Innovator Emotionally Impacts Those Who Use and Love His Digital Devices

Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The death of Apple co-founder Steven Jobs was accompanied by a period of public mourning. Reflections shared by both those he knew and those who were connected to him through the devices he pioneered were imbued with expressions of loss. The goal of the present research was to understand the grieving of those who knew Jobs through his devices, as a way of exploring how interpersonal emotions are shaped by relationships with technology. The findings from three studies conducted in the weeks after Jobs’ death indicated demographic variability in mourning across the general population, suggesting that many people were more deeply affected by his passing. Latter studies highlighted the motivational factors that are related to the use of the Apple devices which were at play in shaping feelings of sadness and loss.

See: Why did Steve Job’s death affect people who never knew him?

The Online Romance Scam: A Serious Cybercrime

March 29, 2012 Comments off

The Online Romance Scam: A Serious Cybercrime
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The Online Romance Scam is a relatively new form of fraud that became apparent in about 2008. In this crime, criminals pretend to initiate a relationship through online dating sites then defraud their victims of large sums of money. This paper presents some descriptive statistics about knowledge and victimization of the online dating romance scam in Great Britain. Our study found that despite its newness, an estimated 230,000 British citizens may have fallen victim to this crime. We conclude that there needs to be some rethinking about providing avenues for victims to report the crime or at least making them more comfortable when doing so.

See: Online Dating Scammers Looking for Money, Not Love

Why Is Facebook So Successful? Psychophysiological Measures Describe a Core Flow State While Using Facebook

February 13, 2012 Comments off
People are more and more using social networking sites (SNSs) like Facebook and MySpace to engage with others. The use of SNSs can have both positive and negative effect on the individual; however, the increasing use of SNSs might reveal that people look for SNSs because they have a positive experience when they use them. Few studies have tried to identify which particular aspects of the social networking experience make SNSs so successful. In this study we focus on the affective experience evoked by SNSs. In particular, we explore whether the use of SNSs elicits a specific psychophysiological pattern. Specifically, we recorded skin conductance, blood volume pulse, electroencephalogram, electromyography, respiratory activity, and pupil dilation in 30 healthy subjects during a 3-minute exposure to (a) a slide show of natural panoramas (relaxation condition), (b) the subject’s personal Facebook account, and (c) a Stroop and mathematical task (stress condition). Statistical analysis of the psychophysiological data and pupil dilation indicates that the Facebook experience was significantly different from stress and relaxation on many linear and spectral indices of somatic activity. Moreover, the biological signals revealed that Facebook use can evoke a psychophysiological state characterized by high positive valence and high arousal (Core Flow State). These findings support the hypothesis that the successful spread of SNSs might be associated with a specific positive affective state experienced by users when they use their SNSs account.

The Effect of Gender, Ethnicity, and Income on College Students’ Use of Communication Technologies

April 8, 2011 Comments off

The Effect of Gender, Ethnicity, and Income on College Students’ Use of Communication Technologies
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Because campus officials are relying on personal communication technologies to communicate with students, a question arises about access and usage. Although communication technologies are popular among college students, some evidence suggests that differences exist in ownership and use. We examined patterns of student ownership and use of cell phones and use of instant messaging, focusing on three predictors of digital inequality: gender, ethnicity, and income. Logistic and hierarchical linear regression analyses were used to analyze results from 4,491 students. The odds that female and white students owned cell phones were more than twice as high as for men and African-American students. Students in the $100,000–$149,000 per year income bracket were more than three times as likely to own a cell phone than those from the median bracket. However, being female, African-American, and/or from the highest income brackets was positively predictive of the number of text messages sent and the amount of time spent talking on a cell phone per week. We found no differences between students on the use of instant messaging. Implications of these results, as well as areas for further research, are provided.

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