Effects of Online Christian Self-Disclosure on Impression Formation

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Abstract:

This experiment examined the effects of online Christian disclosure. Respondents (N = 233) viewed a fictional social networking profile containing one of three levels of Christian disclosure frequency: none, nominal, and extensive. Respondents made few distinctions between nondisclosure and nominal disclosure. Most notably, respondent religiosity moderated impressions. Regardless of disclosure level, religious respondents rated profile owners as more likeable and less stereotypically negative than less religious respondents. The least religious respondents tended to rate the extensively disclosing Christian as least romantically desirable and with more negative stereotyping. The most religious respondents rated the extensively disclosing Christian as most likeable and as most romantically desirable. Christian identity tended to be assumed when not disclosed. Nominal disclosure may constitute a socially acceptable level of online Christian disclosure.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01522.x

Affiliations: School of Journalism and Mass CommunicationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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