Misery rarely gets company: The influence of emotional bandwidth on supportive communication on Facebook

Andrew High, Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, Saraswathi Bellur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study introduces the concept of emotional bandwidth to describe a communicator's ability to use technological features to disclose personal affect online. Strategic use of emotional bandwidth was expected to correspond with interpersonal rewards, specifically the willingness of others to provide social support. Participants (N = 84) viewed hypothetical Facebook profiles that contained manipulated levels of emotional bandwidth and were asked how much support they would provide to the person in the profile. Participants who viewed profiles portraying high emotional bandwidth were less willing to provide social support; however, this finding was qualified by personal qualities. Females, people who perceived a sense of community, and people who had a preference for online social interaction indicated a greater willingness to provide support in the high emotional bandwidth condition. Implications for designing affective affordances in technologies and their psychological effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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