We conducted three studies to understand how online emotional disclosure is influenced by social network structure on Facebook. Results showed that emotional disclosure was associated with both the density and size of users’ personal networks. Facebook users with denser networks disclosed more positive and negative emotions, and the relation between network density and emotional disclosure was mediated by stronger need for emotional expression. Facebook users with larger networks on Facebook disclosed more positive emotions, and the relation between network size and emotional disclosure was mediated by a stronger need for impression management. Our study extends past research by revealing the psychological mechanisms through which personal social network structure influences emotional disclosure. It suggests that social network size and density are associated with different psychological needs, which in turn lead to different patterns of emotional disclosure.
Facebook, Emotion, Self-disclosure, Social networking, Motivation, Network structure
Social Media | Social Psychology
Computers in Human Behavior
LIN, Han, TOV, William, & QIU, Lin.(2014). Emotional disclosure on social networking sites: The role of network structure and psychological needs. Computers in Human Behavior, 41, 342-350.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1552
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