Social Network Influence on Online Behavioral Choices

Exploring Group Formation on Social Network Sites

Kyounghee Kwon, Michael A. Stefanone, George A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media communication is characterized by reduced anonymity and off-to-online social interactions. These characteristics require scholars to revisit social influence mechanisms online. The current study builds on social influence literature to explore social network and gender effects on online behavior. Findings from a quasi-experiment suggest that both network-related variables and gender are significantly associated with online behavior. Perceived social environment, measured by personal network exposure rate, is more significant than objective reality, measured by frequency of received social messages, in determining behavior. We discuss the implications of social contagion effects on web-based strategic communication-including advertising, political campaigns, and social mobilization. Data limitations and the difficulty of measuring social network influence via social media are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1360
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume58
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

group formation
Social Support
Social Media
social network
social media
Communication
Social Environment
communication
anonymity
gender
Interpersonal Relations
mobilization
campaign
experiment
interaction

Keywords

  • interpersonal influence
  • online social networks
  • personal network exposure
  • social contagion
  • social influence
  • social networking sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

Cite this

Social Network Influence on Online Behavioral Choices : Exploring Group Formation on Social Network Sites. / Kwon, Kyounghee; Stefanone, Michael A.; Barnett, George A.

In: American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 58, No. 10, 2014, p. 1345-1360.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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