Sonja Utz

Sonja Utz
Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien | KMRC · Everyday Media

PhD

About

116
Publications
148,457
Reads
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5,554
Citations
Citations since 2016
61 Research Items
4092 Citations
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Introduction
Sonja Utz currently leads the Everyday Media Lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Tübingen. She examines the effects of social and media use in knowledge-related contests. Other research topics are human-machine communication and algorithm awareness and acceptance.
Additional affiliations
April 2014 - present
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Professor (Full)
April 2013 - March 2020
Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 2012 - March 2013
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
November 1996 - July 1999
November 1991 - October 1996

Publications

Publications (116)
Article
Full-text available
The present research investigates whether spontaneous trait inferences occur under conditions characteristic of social media and networking sites: nonextreme, ostensibly self-generated content, simultaneous presentation of multiple cues, and self-paced browsing. We used an established measure of trait inferences (false recognition paradigm) and a d...
Article
Full-text available
Networks of Practice (NoPs) facilitate knowledge sharing among geographically dispersed organization members. This research tests whether social influence in NoPs is reinforced by actors’ embeddedness in practice (knowledge about informal content), organizational embeddedness (knowledge about formal organizational content), structural embeddedness...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the usage and utility of ResearchGate (RG), which is a social networking site where scientists disseminate their work and build their reputations. In a sample consisting largely of American and European academics, the authors analyzed the ways they use the site, what they thought about the site’s util...
Article
Full-text available
On social media, users can easily share their feelings, thoughts, and experiences with the public, including people who they have no previous interaction with. Such information, though often embedded in a stream of others’ news, may influence recipients’ perception toward the discloser. We used a special design that enables a quasi-experience of SN...
Article
Full-text available
Ambient intimacy refers to a feeling of closeness toward certain others developed mainly by following their status updates on social media. Previous researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to develop ambient awareness, that is, knowledge of others, after browsing social media, but it is still unclear whether and to what extent Twitter use...
Article
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Communication scholars are increasingly concerned with interactions between humans and communicative agents. These agents, however, are considerably different from digital or social media: They are designed and perceived as life-like communication partners (i.e., as “communicative subjects”), which in turn poses distinct challenges for their empiri...
Article
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, a podcast with Christian Drosten, a German virologist, gained millions of listeners. Building on literature on science communication skills and first insights showing that exposure to virologists is related to cognitive, affec-tive, and behavioral outcomes and pointing to parasocial phenomena (PSP) as an underlying mec...
Article
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of video conferences in professional settings increased rapidly. Here, we examine how individual and situational characteristics jointly predict active behavior in video conferences (i.e., activating one’s webcam, small talk, contacting other attendees) between strangers. We focus on external net...
Preprint
Full-text available
Discussions on social media have been considered a contributing factor to the increasing polarization the Western world is witnessing. In this study, we use automated and manual coding to analyze diplomatic behavior in online discussions and its consequences for polarization dynamics. We analyze Reddit forums with differing norms: reddits known for...
Preprint
Social communication is omnipresent and a fundamental basis of our daily lives. Especially, due to the increasing popularity of social media, communication flows are becoming more complex, faster and more influential. It is therefore not surprising that in these highly dynamic communication structures, strategies are also developed to spread certai...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although research showed that media consumption during COVID-19 is related to preventive behaviors, we know less about why people turn to quality or alternative media. We focus on the role of different fears. More specifically, we assumed that fears focusing on health threats were positively associated with the consumption of quality media and nega...
Article
During the COVID-19 pandemic, virologists gained a prominent role in traditional and social media in Germany; several participated in regular podcasts. Using a two-wave survey (n = 696/361 at Time 1/2), we explore which impact the strong media presence of virologists had on media users and what role parasocial phenomena (asymmetric interactions and...
Preprint
This chapter focuses on the role social media can play in eliciting jealousy in romantic relationships. First, I define the term “jealousy” and describe the dynamic functional model of jealousy by Chung and Harris (2018) that is used as an overarching framework in the chapter. Subsequently, I discuss how the affordances of social media can influenc...
Article
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Nielsen et al. (1) argue that Van Doesum et al. (2) need to consider three points for their interpretation of a positive association between individual-level social mindfulness (SoMi) and environmental performance (EPI) at the country level (3). The association is weaker when 1) it is controlled for GDP and 2) when the data of three countries are r...
Article
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In this review, we systematize work on the relationship between social media use and stress by providing a functional perspective that distinguishes between three functions that social media can have in the stages of the stress-coping process: as stressors, as resources, and as coping tools. Current research provides evidence that social media can...
Article
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In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, difficult decisions such as the distribution of ventilators must be made. For many of these decisions, humans could team up with algorithms; however, people often prefer human decision-makers. We examined the role of situational (morality of the scenario; perspective) and individual factors (need for leadership; c...
Article
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Humans are social animals, but not everyone will be mindful of others to the same extent. Individual differences have been found, but would social mindfulness also be shaped by one’s location in the world? Expecting cross-national differences to exist, we examined if and how social mindfulness differs across countries. At little to no material cost...
Article
Lightweight evaluations of content, such as thumbs-up, Liking, and favoriting, are an important aspect of social media interactions. Although minimal, these acts can carry a variety of meanings and implications. Prior research has revealed various motives and identified some recurring themes, but is often based on small samples or survey procedures...
Article
Research question: We investigate empirically the impact of trust in fairness on TV demand for sports as well as its role in the doping-demand relation. Research methods: We use data from a two-wave panel survey and a sporting event scenario where doping issues are present. The effects are estimated using Zero-Inflated Poisson regressions accounti...
Article
Job applicants’ self-presentation in their profiles on professional networking services (PNS), such as LinkedIn, may be crucial for the evaluation of their expertise for a job. Importantly, on PNS profiles, self-generated picture-based and text-based cues are shown together, and both may influence expertise evaluations. In three experiments, we sys...
Article
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Extensive use of the internet has enabled easy access to many different sources, such as news and social media. Content shared on the internet cannot be fully fact-checked and, as a result, misinformation can spread in a fast and easy way. Recently, psychologists and economists have shown in many experiments that prior beliefs, knowledge, and the w...
Article
Professional networking has mostly been researched in offline contexts. With professional social networking sites (SNS), such as LinkedIn or the German platform XING, professional networking can be extended to online contexts. Therefore, this study examines if people differ in the intensity of offline and online networking and if influence factors...
Article
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In the last 10 years, many canonical findings in the social sciences appear unreliable. This so-called “replication crisis” has spurred calls for open science practices, which aim to increase the reproducibility, replicability, and generalizability of findings. Communication research is subject to many of the same challenges that have caused low re...
Article
How-to videos on YouTube have become a popular source for procedural learning. An important difference to traditional educational videos is that the instructor is often not a professional educator, but an amateur or peer. Building on work on social learning from models, this paper explores how instructor characteristics such as model-observer simil...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on stress and media use mainly concentrated on between-person effects. We add to this research field by additionally assessing within-person associations, assuming that experiencing more stress than usual goes along with more nomophobia (“no-mobile-phone phobia”) and more passive and active Facebook use than usual, cross-sectional...
Article
Peer review has become the gold standard in scientific publishing as a selection method and a refinement scheme for research reports. However, despite its pervasiveness and conferred importance, relatively little empirical research has been conducted to document its effectiveness. Further, there is evidence that factors other than a submission’s me...
Article
Using social media for crisis communication has been proposed as an effective strategy because it allows teams to build parasocial relationships with fans. The authors focused on the early elimination of Germany during the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Cup to examine the effects of (crisis) communication on Facebook....
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the institutional implications associated with facilitating or combatting deliberate ignorance, and explores concrete institutional mechanisms that could serve to limit, distort, or otherwise structure peoples' informational environment. It examines the basic building block that individuals might use to achieve their goals-con...
Article
Aims: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of a social media-based, health literacy-sensitive diabetes management intervention on patient activation, self-care behaviors, and glucose control compared to telephone-based, health literacy-sensitive diabetes management intervention and usual care. Additionally, this study aimed to iden...
Preprint
Peer review has become the gold standard in scientific publishing as a selection method and a refinement scheme for research reports. However, despite its pervasiveness and conferred importance, relatively little empirical research has been conducted to document its effectiveness. Further, there is evidence that factors other than a submission’s me...
Preprint
Peer review has become the gold standard in scientific publishing as a selection method and a refinement scheme for research reports. However, despite its pervasiveness and conferred importance, relatively little empirical research has been conducted to document its effectiveness. Further, there is evidence that factors other than a submission’s me...
Article
Diabetes self-management is an important part of patient care for those with diabetes. The purpose of this study was to explore patients’ experiences with diabetes self-management education and how these experiences differed by health-literacy levels. A descriptive qualitative design was conducted. In 2016, 20 patients with diabetes who took a form...
Chapter
Each day, millions of people use social media. On these platforms, they are exposed to many positive updates from their network members, raising the question how this selective picture of other people’s lives affects recipients’ emotions: do people become happy when their friends are happy (emotional contagion) or do they become envious on the seem...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that users of social network sites designed for professional purposes, such as LinkedIn, report higher professional informational benefits than nonusers. However, this effect could only be partly explained by social media use as there was also a selection effect, such that people who have more informational benefits were...
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel wird eine Einführung in das Thema soziale Medien im Sport gegeben. Nach einer Übersicht über die wichtigsten Plattformen und ihre zentralen Affordanzen werden die vielfältigen Einsatzmöglichkeiten sozialer Medien im Sport auf verschiedenen Ebenen beschrieben. Diese reichen von der Nutzung als Second Screen während des passiven Zus...
Article
Prior longitudinal studies on the effects of Facebook use on well-being often found no or only small effects. One reason could be that well-being indicators are often remarkably stable over time. In the present study, we looked therefore at people who experienced financial hardship, a stressful life event, and examined whether Facebook users differ...
Article
Full-text available
ResearchGate, a social network site for academics, prominently displays the achievements of people one follows (“With 150 new reads, X was the most read author from their institute”). The goal of this paper was to examine the emotional and motivational effects of these system-generated messages, thereby extending prior research on envy-evoking stat...
Article
Organizations are increasingly flooded with large amounts of data on which they base their business decisions. It is thus crucial to visualize relevant data efficiently so that employees are able to extract relevant information most accurately and quickly. However, at present, information visualization research lacks a coherent and evidence based t...
Article
Full-text available
Social network users often see their online friends post about experiential purchases (such as traveling experiences) and material purchases (such as newly purchased gadgets). Three studies (total N = 798) were conducted to investigate which type of purchase triggers more envy on Social Network Sites (SNSs) and explored its underlying mechanism. We...
Article
Full-text available
Low health literacy has been recognized as a potential barrier to obtaining knowledge and maintaining self-care in older people. However, little is known about information-seeking preference in relation to health literacy among older people. The aim of the present study was to understand the influence of health literacy on the information-seeking p...
Article
Full-text available
Existing work on the effects of social network sites (SNS) on well-being has often stressed that SNS can help people gain social support from their online networks, which positively affects their well-being. However, the majority of studies in this area have been cross-sectional in nature and/or relied on student samples. Using data from six waves...
Chapter
Knowledge exchange no longer occurs only in private email conversations, but also takes place on (semi-)public social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. These media help people maintaining and extending their social networks. They also expose users to a constant stream of tiny bits of information (e.g., news feeds). In this chapter, we ex...
Article
In today’s knowledge economy, given the increasing number of online collaborative platforms, it is even more important to understand and manage the sharing of information. Although it is widely accepted that technological design affects how people use a platform, it is a real challenge to constantly stimulate information sharing (IS), also because...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from four waves of a longitudinal study among Dutch internet users, we examined whether and how the use of social network sites (SNS) for professional purposes is related to informational benefits. Building on a social capital framework and taking into account the affordances of social media, we specifically looked at users' activities a...
Article
Full-text available
Graphical virtual worlds add two new layers to the old question what determines friendship formation. First, it is possible to distinguish between offline (player) and online (avatar) characteristics. Second, these environments offer new possibilities for studying friendship formation. By tracking friendship requests and their acceptance rate, rese...
Article
Full-text available
Ambient awareness refers to the awareness social media users develop of their online network in result of being constantly exposed to social information, such as microblogging updates. Although each individual bit of information can seem like random noise, their incessant reception can amass to a coherent representation of social others. Despite it...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Do people who express negative feelings (loneliness, sadness) on Twitter gain or lose online contacts? To answer this question, we tracked the number of followers and followees of people who tweeted about loneliness or sadness twice; once when they expressed the negative feeling and a second time five months later. We compared the networks of those...
Article
Online platforms' success depends on individual's information sharing (IS). However, previous research showed that “knowledge is power” is a default-perception in organizations and that individuals share relatively unimportant information while keeping the important private information for themselves. Trust has also been identified as important ena...
Article
Full-text available
Social media revolve around self-disclosure. To present oneself, to start and expand one’s social circle, and to share content, a user has to disclose personal data. Self-disclosure, seen as the “process of making the self known to other persons” (Jourard & Lasakow, 1958, p. 91), helps people to find common ground to start and also to deepen (onlin...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung. Im Berufsleben spielt Wissensaustausch eine zentrale Rolle. In diesem Beitrag wird dargestellt, welche Rolle social media – sowohl unternehmensinterne Enterprise Social Networks als auch öffentlich zugängliche social media wie Xing oder Twitter – dabei spielen können. Social media erleichtern die Pflege eines großen und diversen Ne...
Article
Do people who express negative feelings (loneliness, sadness) on Twitter gain or lose online contacts? To answer this question, the authors tracked the number of followers and followees of people who tweeted about loneliness or sadness twice; once when they expressed the negative feeling and a second time five months later. The authors compared the...
Conference Paper
The implementation of new methods that increase the quality and effectiveness of research processes became an unique advantage to online social networking sites. Conducting accurate and meaningful surveys is one of the most important facets for research, wherein the representativeness of selected online samples is often a challenge and the results...
Article
Full-text available
On Facebook, users are exposed to posts from both strong and weak ties. Even though several studies have examined the emotional consequences of using Facebook, less attention has been paid to the role of tie strength. This paper aims to explore the emotional outcomes of reading a post on Facebook and examine the role of tie strength in predicting h...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores how individuals use online coping strategies after experiencing a negative life event. Many studies have shown that online coping is of rising importance. However, these studies have not provided all pieces of the puzzle because they tend to focus on one particular online venue (e.g., an online support group or social network...
Article
Full-text available
This article uses a social capital framework to examine whether and how the use of three types of publicly accessible social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) is related to professional informational benefits among a representative sample of Dutch online users. Professional informational benefits were conceptualized as the (timely) access to rele...
Research
Full-text available
Talk at the e-teaching Themenspecial Social media, social learning #SoMeLern, ResearchGate study
Article
The uniqueness of online social networks makes it possible to implement new methods that increase the quality and effectiveness of research processes. While surveys are one of the most important tools for research, the representativeness of selected online samples is often a challenge and the results are hardly generalizable. An approach based on s...
Article
Full-text available
Social media, especially social network sites (SNS) such as Facebook have grown rapidly in popularity in the last ten years. [...]
Article
How can social network sites (SNS) foster relationships when most status updates on SNS are mainly entertaining and not very intimate? This finding cannot be explained by classical social psychological theories such as social penetration theory which regard disclosure intimacy as the main driver of relational outcomes. By building on literature on...
Article
Full-text available
Recent news in the media has suggested that younger people are using popular social media such as Facebook less and are quickly adopting newer media, such as the self-destructing app Snapchat. Snapchat is unique in that it erases messages several seconds after they have been sent, affording its users a higher level of privacy. Yet, little research...
Article
Full-text available
Personality factors have been found to predict a variety of behaviors, including cooperation, sharing, and strategic behaviors within professional contexts. Specifically, individuals’ preferences for self vs. other outcomes (social value orientation) are predictive of strategic sharing behaviors in mixed motive situations. For instance, self-focuse...
Article
Full-text available
The paper explains antecedents and consequences of news during the BP oil spill crisis by analyzing newspaper and internet coverage as well as financial indicators. The study establishes the roles of routines in financial journalism and of BP’s public relations efforts in building the U.S. media agenda. The U.S. media agenda in turn bears a classic...
Chapter
Full-text available
Krisen erschüttern die legitimierte soziale Ordnung und drücken strukturelle und normative Wandlungsprozesse der Gesellschaft aus. Diese Wandlungsprozesse beruhen unter anderem auf der Verbreitung neuer Kommunikationstechnologien wie sozialer Medien (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc.), welche die Kommunikation gesellschaftlicher Akteure dynamisieren....
Article
Full-text available
This paper contributes to the analysis of the interplay of public relations and news in crisis situations, and the conceptualization of strategic framing by introducing the idea of associative frames and the method of semantic network analysis to the PR research field. By building on a more advanced understanding of communication as process of soci...