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Predicting the content of Facebook status updates with an extended theory of planned behaviour


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Brown, EG 2017 , 'Predicting the content of Facebook status updates with an extended theory of planned behaviour', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The exchange of socioemotional information on the social networking site Facebook is often facilitated through status updates: short messages posted on the user’s wall. This study investigated Facebook users’ intentions to post positively or negatively valenced content in their status updates (Time 1, N= 154), and in turn to examine the relationship between Time 1 intentions and subsequent posting behaviour (Time 2, n= 39). An extended Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) approach was taken, with extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem and need to belong included additional to attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control. Facebook intensity and social desirability were included as control variables. The final models significantly predicted intentions to post both positively and negatively valenced content in status updates. Positive status update intention was significantly predicted by less social desirability, more favourable subjective norms, greater perceived behavioural control, and a positive stimulation belonging orientation. For negative status updates, only attitudes and subjective norms were significant individual predictors. There was a strong relationship between intention to post negatively valenced content and actual negatively valenced content, but no relationship between intention and actual positive valenced status updates. It is concluded that social norms play a key role in status updates, showing a positivity bias on Facebook.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Brown, EG
Keywords: Facebook, Theory of planned behaviours, social, extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem
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Copyright 2017 the author

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