Interface cues to promote disclosure and build community: An experimental test of crowd and connectivity cues in an online sexual health forum

Jinyoung Kim, Andrew Gambino, S. Shyam Sundar, Mary Beth Rosson, Chulakorn Aritajati, Jun Ge, Christine Fanning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Health forums and support groups depend on participant self-disclosure for their success, but the sensitive nature of personal health concerns raises privacy concerns that may constrain what users are willing to reveal. To address this issue, we explore the impact of visual cues designed to convey (1) two facets of social influence—crowd size and social network connectivity—and (2) provide a frame designed to enhance the forum’s sense of community. A 3 (Cue type: Crowd, Connectivity, None) x 2 (Framing) factorial experiment (N = 218) showed that cues implying greater crowd size and connectivity lead to more self-disclosure of sensitive information, and higher intentions to revisit the community. Further, user belief in the community-building heuristic positively predicts self-disclosure and intentions, while also moderating the effect of the connectivity cue in a direction which implies that the cue encourages disclosure by triggering the community-building heuristic. Implications for the design of online groups are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
StatePublished - Nov 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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