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Why Can't We Be Friends? Examining the Influence of Social Network Profiles on Initial Interactions

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11177

Why Can't We Be Friends? Examining the Influence of Social Network Profiles on Initial Interactions

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Title: Why Can't We Be Friends? Examining the Influence of Social Network Profiles on Initial Interactions
Author: Sharabi, Liesel
Advisor(s): McDermott, Virginia
Committee Member(s): Schuetz, Jan
Shiver, Janet
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Communication and Journalism
Subject: Interpersonal Communication
Uncertainty Reduction
Social Networking
Profile
Relational Uncertainty in Initial Interactions Questionnaire
Social profiles
LC Subject(s): Interpersonal communication--Psychological aspects
Interpersonal communiction--Social aspects
Online social networks--Psychological aspects
Online social networks--Social aspects
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: Despite the growing number of people using social network Web sites to establish and maintain relationships, we know little about how the information available on these sites affects communication patterns and perceptions of partners. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to extend Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT) into the Information age by examining the effect that the type of information available on social network sites may have on initial interactions. Thirty strangers were matched with one another to create fifteen dyads. These dyads were assigned to one of two groups: one group received their partner’s social network profile and the second group was provided an index card containing basic information about their partner. Then, participants completed a pretest, engaged in a get-to-know-you conversation, and completed a posttest. Several weeks later, the Relational Uncertainty in Initial Interactions Questionnaire was administered to assess the lingering effects of uncertainty. These findings contradict five of URT’s seven axioms and show the limited applicability of URT to electronic communication while also providing support for Predicted Outcome Value Theory and Uncertainty Management Theory.
Graduation Date: July 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11177


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