Factors Influencing the Quality of Social Support Messages Produced Online: The Role of Responsibility for Distress and Others’ Support Attempts

Stephen A Rains, Eric Tsetsi, Chelsie Akers, Corey A. Pavlich, Michael Appelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Brunswik’s lens model was used as a guide to investigate the conditions under which people produce more and less effective support messages online. An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of identity cues concerning a support seeker’s responsibility for his or her distress and behavioral residue involving other online community members’ responses to the support seeker. Participants evaluated the support seeker more negatively, produced support messages containing lower levels of person-centeredness, and used fewer politeness strategies when the support seeker was more responsible for his or her distress than when the seeker was less responsible. These effects tended to be intensified when the quality of support from other community members was congruent with seeker responsibility compared with when others’ support and seeker responsibility were incongruent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-886
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Research
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Keywords

  • computer-mediated communication
  • experiment
  • interpersonal communication
  • online
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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