Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The influence of personality traits and social networks on the self-disclosure behavior of social network site users

an article by Xi Chen, Yin Pan and Bin Guo (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China) published in Internet Research Volume 26 Issue 3 (2016)


The purpose of this paper is to determine the influence and interaction of social networks and personality traits on the self-disclosure behavior of social network site (SNS) users. According to social capital theory and the Big Five personality model, the authors hypothesized that social capital factors would affect the accuracy and amount of self-disclosure behavior and that personality traits would moderate this effect.

A survey was conducted to collect data from 207 SNS users. The questionnaire was administered in university classrooms and libraries and via e-mail. The measurement model and structural model were examined by using LISREL 8.8 and SmartPLS 2.0.

Based on the path analysis, the authors identified several interesting patterns to explain self-disclosure behavior on SNSs. First, the centrality of SNS users has a positive effect on their amount of self-disclosure. Moreover, people who are more extroverted disclose personal information that is more accurate with the level of the cognitive dimension held constant and disclose a greater amount of personal information with the level of the structural dimension held constant. From a practical perspective, the results may provide useful insight for companies operating SNSs.

This study analyzed the influence of social capital factors on SNS users’ self-disclosure, as well as the interactions between personality and social capital factors. Specifically, the authors examined six important variables of social capital divided into three dimensions. This research complements current research on SNSs by focusing on SNS users’ motivation to disclose self-related information in addition to information sharing.

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