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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction