[Insert name here]: Group size and personalization’s effect on Facebook message response rates

Jane-Marie Fatkin, Terry Lansdown

Abstract

The bystander effect is one of the most well researched and replicated phenomena in social psychology. It repeatedly shows that the presence of other people inhibits the impulse to help due to the concept of diffusion of responsibility. Recently, researchers have studied this phenomenon online in the context of emails, internet chat rooms, and discussion forums. The results from these studies provide evidence that the presence of ‘virtual’ others decreases the likelihood of helping behavior and strongly suggests that diffusion of responsibility also occurs in an internet setting. Personalization is another factor that strongly influences helping behavior. Referring to a person by name when soliciting a help request increases the likelihood of receiving assistance. Yet, with the most popular activity on the internet now being social media, it would be beneficial to know if diffusion of responsibility and personalization also occur in this section of the online world. To investigate the validity of diffusion of responsibility as well as personalization in a social media context, 176 participants sent out one private Facebook message soliciting help in the form of an online survey to 1, 3, 6, or 9 of their Facebook friends. They greeted their friend(s) by name or just said ‘Hi or ‘Hi all.’ Responses to the survey provided strong support for personalizing the greeting, but did not support the theory of diffusion of responsibility. The practical and theoretical applications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology and People
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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diffusion
responsibility
personalization
facebook
name
Internet
social media
behavior
effect
Helping Behavior
Social Media
helping behavior
group size
chat
social psychology
e-mail
online survey
assistance
validity
human being

Cite this

Fatkin, Jane-Marie; Lansdown, Terry / [Insert name here]: Group size and personalization’s effect on Facebook message response rates.

In: Information Technology and People, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "[Insert name here]: Group size and personalization’s effect on Facebook message response rates",
author = "Jane-Marie Fatkin and Terry Lansdown",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1108/ITP-02-2015-0042",
volume = "30",
journal = "Information Technology and People",
issn = "0959-3845",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

[Insert name here]: Group size and personalization’s effect on Facebook message response rates. / Fatkin, Jane-Marie; Lansdown, Terry.

In: Information Technology and People, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - [Insert name here]: Group size and personalization’s effect on Facebook message response rates

AU - Fatkin,Jane-Marie

AU - Lansdown,Terry

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - The bystander effect is one of the most well researched and replicated phenomena in social psychology. It repeatedly shows that the presence of other people inhibits the impulse to help due to the concept of diffusion of responsibility. Recently, researchers have studied this phenomenon online in the context of emails, internet chat rooms, and discussion forums. The results from these studies provide evidence that the presence of ‘virtual’ others decreases the likelihood of helping behavior and strongly suggests that diffusion of responsibility also occurs in an internet setting. Personalization is another factor that strongly influences helping behavior. Referring to a person by name when soliciting a help request increases the likelihood of receiving assistance. Yet, with the most popular activity on the internet now being social media, it would be beneficial to know if diffusion of responsibility and personalization also occur in this section of the online world. To investigate the validity of diffusion of responsibility as well as personalization in a social media context, 176 participants sent out one private Facebook message soliciting help in the form of an online survey to 1, 3, 6, or 9 of their Facebook friends. They greeted their friend(s) by name or just said ‘Hi or ‘Hi all.’ Responses to the survey provided strong support for personalizing the greeting, but did not support the theory of diffusion of responsibility. The practical and theoretical applications of these findings are discussed.

AB - The bystander effect is one of the most well researched and replicated phenomena in social psychology. It repeatedly shows that the presence of other people inhibits the impulse to help due to the concept of diffusion of responsibility. Recently, researchers have studied this phenomenon online in the context of emails, internet chat rooms, and discussion forums. The results from these studies provide evidence that the presence of ‘virtual’ others decreases the likelihood of helping behavior and strongly suggests that diffusion of responsibility also occurs in an internet setting. Personalization is another factor that strongly influences helping behavior. Referring to a person by name when soliciting a help request increases the likelihood of receiving assistance. Yet, with the most popular activity on the internet now being social media, it would be beneficial to know if diffusion of responsibility and personalization also occur in this section of the online world. To investigate the validity of diffusion of responsibility as well as personalization in a social media context, 176 participants sent out one private Facebook message soliciting help in the form of an online survey to 1, 3, 6, or 9 of their Facebook friends. They greeted their friend(s) by name or just said ‘Hi or ‘Hi all.’ Responses to the survey provided strong support for personalizing the greeting, but did not support the theory of diffusion of responsibility. The practical and theoretical applications of these findings are discussed.

U2 - 10.1108/ITP-02-2015-0042

DO - 10.1108/ITP-02-2015-0042

M3 - Article

VL - 30

JO - Information Technology and People

T2 - Information Technology and People

JF - Information Technology and People

SN - 0959-3845

IS - 1

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