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ERIC Number: EJ1144067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2192-001X
Not Breaking Bonds on Facebook--Mixed-Methods Research on the Influence of Individuals' Need to Belong on "Unfriending" Behavior on Facebook
Kramer, Nicole; Hoffmann, Laura; Eimler, Sabrina
International Journal of Developmental Science, v9 n2 p61-74 2015
Although recent research demonstrates that people deem a considerable number of their Facebook friends dispensable, they nevertheless refrain from deleting a large number of contacts. While there are first studies on the reasons why users decide to "unfriend" contacts, there is no research on the motives for keeping social contacts even though they are identified as deletable. Based on assumptions of the need to belong theory (Baumeister & Leary, 1995), we conducted two exploratory studies (an interview study, N = 18, and a subsequent online survey, N = 255) to determine reasons for refraining from deleting dispensable contacts. A think-aloud element in the interviews confirmed that participants were willing and able to identify dispensable contacts but that only a minor proportion of these were actually deleted. Reasons for not deleting were related first and foremost to the relationship and the fear of eventually losing the possibility for contact. The online survey demonstrated that the individual need to belong predicts the number of friends but not the number of friends that have already been deleted.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A