When do Online Audiences Amplify Benefits of Self-Disclosure? The Role of Shared Experience and Anticipated Interactivity

Rachel Kornfield*, Catalina L. Toma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

As individuals increasingly write about their distressing experiences online, it is important to understand how perceived online audiences influence the effects of self-disclosure. In an experiment, participants wrote about recent breakups for online audiences purportedly varying in 1) whether they shared recent breakup experiences and 2) their ability to leave comments. Participants perceiving audiences with shared experience showed more cognitive processing in their writing and reported increased post-traumatic growth at follow-up than participants perceiving general audiences. Those anticipating comments wrote less about emotions than those who did not. Mechanisms accounting for the benefits of shared experience warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-297
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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