Exploring Facebook: Attachment Style and Nonverbal Message Characteristics as Predictors of Anticipated Emotional Reactions to Facebook Postings

Christina Fleuriet, Megan Cole, Laura Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study investigates people’s perceived likelihood of experiencing negative emotion in response to a potentially jealousy-inducing Facebook wall post that was ostensibly sent by a rival. Facebook messages were varied so that participants (n = 821) viewed a message containing text only or text plus either an attractive or unattractive photo of the sender, a winking face emoticon, words in all capitals, or triple exclamation points. Participants were then asked to indicate the degree of negative emotion they would feel if they saw this message on their romantic partner’s Facebook wall. The addition of wink-face emoticons and physical attractiveness cues in a Facebook wall post contributed to differences in likely experienced emotion. Participants also reported a greater likelihood of experiencing negative emotion if they were high in preoccupied attachment and low in dismissive attachment. Finally, women reported being more likely to experience negative interpersonal affect in response to the Facebook post than did men. Implications for the role nonverbal cues play in computer-mediated contexts, such as Facebook, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-450
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 26 2014

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Emotion
  • Facebook™
  • Nonverbal communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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