First comes love, then comes google: An investigation of uncertainty reduction strategies and self-disclosure in online dating

Jennifer L. Gibbs, Nicole B. Ellison, Chih-Hui Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates relationships between privacy concerns, uncertainty reduction behaviors, and self-disclosure among online dating participants, drawing on uncertainty reduction theory and the warranting principle. The authors propose a conceptual model integrating privacy concerns, self-efficacy, and Internet experience with uncertainty reduction strategies and amount of self-disclosure and then test this model on a nationwide sample of online dating participants (N = 562). The study findings confirm that the frequency of use of uncertainty reduction strategies is predicted by three sets of online dating concerns-personal security, misrepresentation, and recognition-as well as self-efficacy in online dating. Furthermore, the frequency of uncertainty reduction strategies mediates the relationship between these variables and amount of self-disclosure with potential online dating partners. The authors explore the theoretical implications of these findings for our understanding of uncertainty reduction, warranting, and self-disclosure processes in online contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-100
Number of pages31
JournalCommunication Research
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2011

Keywords

  • computer-mediated communication
  • online dating
  • privacy
  • self-disclosure
  • uncertainty reduction theory
  • warranting

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