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How Do Like and Dislike Buttons Affect Communication? Testing the Privacy Calculus in a Preregistered One-Week Field Experiment

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Abstract

According to the privacy calculus, both privacy concerns and expected gratifications explain self-disclosure online. So far, however, most findings were based on self-reports, and little is known about whether the privacy calculus can be used to explain observations of actual behavior. Likewise, we still know little as to whether the privacy calculus is influenced by the design of online websites, including for example popularity cues such as like and dislike buttons. To answer these questions, we ran a preregistered one-week field experiment. Participants were randomly distributed to three different websites, on which they discussed a current political topic. The websites featured either (a) like buttons, (b) like and dislike button, or (c) no like/dislike buttons, and were otherwise identical. The final sample consisted of 590 participants. Although the originally preregistered model was rejected, the results showed that a considerable share of actual self-disclosure could be explained by privacy concerns, gratifications, privacy deliberation, trust, and self-efficacy. The impact of the popularity cues on self-disclosure and the privacy calculus was negligible.

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... Furthermore, the perception and awareness of bodily stages (associated with the interoceptive system) may also be a relevant aspect that has not been investigated sufficiently by now, especially in the context of self-disclosure decision making on social networks. Consequently, previous findings that have been interpreted in light of the Privacy Calculus may need to be critically reinterpreted, especially since many studies did not directly provide evidence for a weighing process of benefits and risks (see also Knijnenburg et al., 2017;Dienlin et al., 2020). It therefore appears necessary to increasingly apply neuroimaging methods (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI) when examining individuals' self-disclosure decisions in order to receive a clearer picture of underlying mechanisms and involved neural systems based on respective brain activity. ...
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... The data come from an online experiment conducted in Germany during the fall term of 2017, which analyzed the privacy calculus using actual behavioral data (for more details on the study, see Dienlin et al., 2020). The field phase of the experiment lasted for one week. ...
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Humans have the urge to self-disclose, which is nowadays often satisfied on social media platforms. While the affordances of contemporary social media applications help to indulge this urge, they also pose a significant challenge. People are usually good at leveraging self-disclosure in a way that gratifications are increased and disadvantages are minimized - for example, by avoiding pitfalls such as revealing too intimate information to a large audience. However, when trying to balance self-disclosure gratifications and privacy risks on social media platforms, users are not always able to take rational decisions as suggested in the 'privacy calculus' approach. Instead, recent research indicates that users are prone to biases which hinder rational calculations of advantages and disadvantages - especially caused by social media cues. Users therefore need to be supported in order to master self-disclosure decisions.
Article
This study builds on the privacy calculus model to revisit the privacy paradox on social media. A two-wave panel data set from Hong Kong and a cross-sectional data set from the United States are used. This study extends the model by incorporating privacy self-efficacy as another privacy-related factor in addition to privacy concerns (i.e., costs) and examines how these factors interact with social capital (i.e., the expected benefit) in influencing different privacy management strategies, including limiting profile visibility, self-disclosure, and friending. This study proposed and found a two-step privacy management strategy in which privacy concerns and privacy self-efficacy prompt users to limit their profile visibility, which in turn enhances their self-disclosing and friending behaviors in both Hong Kong and the United States. Results from the moderated mediation analyses further demonstrate that social capital strengthens the positive–direct effect of privacy self-efficacy on self-disclosure in both places, and it can mitigate the direct effect of privacy concerns on restricting self-disclosure in Hong Kong (the conditional direct effects). Social capital also enhances the indirect effect of privacy self-efficacy on both self-disclosure and friending through limiting profile visibility in Hong Kong (the conditional indirect effects). Implications of the findings are discussed.
Book
Using both a theoretical argumentation and an empirical investigation, this book rationalizes the view that in order to understand people’s privacy perceptions and behaviors, a situational perspective needs to be adopted. To this end, the book is divided into three parts. Part I advances the theory of situational privacy and self-disclosure by discussing impacts of new information and communication technologies on traditional theories of privacy and self-disclosure. Based on five basic suppositions, it describes three major processes of the theory: pre-situational privacy regulations processes, situational privacy perception and self-disclosure processes, and post-situational evaluation processes. Next, Part II presents the application of the theory to smartphone-based communication. It first analyses how people choose certain communication environments on their smartphones, how they manipulate them, and how these external factors affect self-disclosure within these environments. It then details a multi-method study conducted to test the derived assumptions and discusses the obtained results. Part III reflects on the overall implications of the theory, summarizes the major findings and lastly considers possible extensions and perspectives on future research. Intended mainly for researchers in privacy and communication studies, the book offers privacy scholars a systematic review of both classic and contemporary theories of privacy and self-disclosure. At the same time, communication scholars benefit from an additional methodological discussion of the mobile experience sampling method, which provides an invaluable approach to measuring situational communication processes.
Article
The concept of affordances in communication technology research has proven to be heuristically provocative, yet perceived affordances are rarely measured. After extracting commonly cited social affordances from the literature, we developed a measure to assess participants’ perceptions of these affordances. The scale was tested across eight communication channels in two studies (face-to-face; texting; phone; email; posts on social networking sites, specifically Facebook; instant messaging; Skype videoconferencing; and mobile app Snapchat). A factor structure was developed in Study 1 and confirmed in Study 2. The resultant Perceived Social Affordances of Communication Channels Scale includes 41 items measuring ten communicative affordances: accessibility, bandwidth, social presence, privacy, network association, personalization, persistence, editability, conversation control, and anonymity. Potential methodological and theoretical applications are discussed.
Article
The privacy calculus established that online self-disclosures are based on a cost-benefit tradeoff. For the context of SNSs, however, the privacy calculus still needs further support as most studies consist of small student samples and analyze self-disclosure only, excluding self-withdrawal (e.g., the deletion of posts), which is essential in SNS contexts. Thus, this study used a U.S. representative sample to test the privacy calculus' generalizability and extend its theoretical framework by including both self-withdrawal behaviors and privacy self-efficacy. Results confirmed the extended privacy calculus model. Moreover, both privacy concerns and privacy self-efficacy positively predicted use of self-withdrawal. With regard to predicting self-disclosure in SNSs, benefits outweighed privacy concerns; regarding self-withdrawal, privacy concerns outweighed both privacy self-efficacy and benefits.
Article
Drawing from the stereotype content model, we examine how people respond to likeminded and counter-attitudinal political comments appearing after a news article. We experimentally test how citizens behave when they are able to click on one of three different buttons posted next to others’ comments—“Like,” “Recommend,” or “Respect.” In the experiment, political attitudes predicted button clicking, but the button label affected the strength of the relationship. In some instances, people clicked on fewer buttons associated with likeminded comments and more buttons associated with counter-attitudinal comments when the button was labeled with “Respect” as opposed to “Like” or “Recommend.” The pattern of results for the “Recommend” button differed across two issues. The results suggest that political comments can trigger stereotypical reactions. Although the “Like” button is well known, news organizations interested in promoting less partisan behaviors should consider using a “Respect” button rather than the “Like” or “Recommend” button in comment sections.
Chapter
According to Etzioni (1999), the first step in analyzing privacy is to determine whether or not there is a problem. Given the easy availability of private information on the Internet and the seemingly great readiness of Social Web users to disclose personal data, it would appear that the protection of privacy is not a major problem for users. However, empirical evidence demonstrates that Social Web users are in fact quite concerned about their privacy (Barnes 2006; Tufekci 2008; Debatin et al. 2009).
Article
In the e-commerce environment, individuals' concerns for online information privacy play critical roles in determining their intention to use the Internet to provide personal information for services and transactions. Understanding this relationship has important implications for e-commerce. Despite much research in this area, an overarching picture of the relationship between information privacy concerns and the antecedent and consequence factors is yet to be drawn. Based on a review on empirical studies in this area, this research summarizes the conceptualizations of privacy concerns and the antecedents and consequences. An integrative framework is developed to illustrate the relationships between the factors. In this framework, a person's concern for information privacy regarding a specific e-commerce website is distinguished from his/her concern for information privacy regarding the general e-commerce environment. These two forms of privacy concerns have distinct impacts on a person's online behavior. Their relationships with multiple antecedent and consequence factors are analyzed.
Chapter
Social network sites (SNSs) are becoming an increasingly popular resource for both students and adults, who use them to connect with and maintain relationships with a variety of ties. For many, the primary function of these sites is to consume and distribute personal content about the self. Privacy concerns around sharing information in a public or semi-public space are amplified by SNSs’ structural characteristics, which may obfuscate the true audience of these disclosures due to their technical properties (e.g., persistence, searchability) and dynamics of use (e.g., invisible audiences, context collapse) (boyd 2008b). Early work on the topic focused on the privacy pitfalls of Facebook and other SNSs (e.g., Acquisti and Gross 2006; Barnes 2006; Gross and Acquisti 2005) and argued that individuals were (perhaps inadvertently) disclosing information that might be inappropriate for some audiences, such as future employers, or that might enable identity theft or other negative outcomes.
Article
Although social network sites (SNS) users' privacy concerns cannot be completely removed by privacy policies and security safeguards, the user base of SNS is constantly expanding. To explain this phenomenon, we use the lens of the calculus of behavior within a cost–benefit framework suggesting privacy concerns as cost factors and behavior enticements as benefit factors and examine how the enticements operate against privacy concerns in users' cost–benefit calculus regarding disclosing personal information and using SNS continuously. Adopting social influence process theory, we examine three enticements—the motivation of relationship management through SNS, the perceived usefulness of SNS for self-presentation, and the subjective social norms of using SNS. From a survey of 362 Facebook users who have disclosed personal information on Facebook, we find that the motivation of relationship management through SNS and the perceived usefulness of SNS for self-presentation lead users to disclose information but that subjective social norms do not, suggesting that the perceived benefit of behavior enticements should be assimilated into users' own value systems to truly operate as benefit factors. The results regarding the positive and negative effects of suggested benefit and cost factors on information disclosure show that only the combined positive effects of all three behavior enticements exceed the negative effect of privacy concerns, suggesting that privacy concerns can be offset only by multiple benefit factors.
Article
Privacy is conceptualized as a dynamic, interpersonal boundary control process which regulates access to the self. Coupled with desired and achieved privacy levels, a series of social interaction cases are described involving satisfactory and unsatisfactory input-output relationships with others. Mechanisms used to implement desired levels of privacy are discussed. (Author/MA)
Article
Based on findings from previous interviews with 900 5–17 yr old children and adolescents and other research, a situational perspective of privacy is developed. Situations affecting an individual's perception and experience of privacy and invasions of privacy are described in terms of 3 dimensions: (a) self-ego (i.e., a developmental process that focuses on individuation and personal dignity); (b) environmental, which includes cultural, sociophysical, and life cycle elements; and (c) interpersonal, which involves interaction management and information management elements. The issue of control/choice is conceptualized as a mediating variable in the privacy system. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Aspects of scientific method are discussed: In particular, its representation as a motivated iteration in which, in succession, practice confronts theory, and theory, practice. Rapid progress requires sufficient flexibility to profit from such confrontations, and the ability to devise parsimonious but effective models, to worry selectively about model inadequacies and to employ mathematics skillfully but appropriately. The development of statistical methods at Rothamsted Experimental Station by Sir Ronald Fisher is used to illustrate these themes.
Article
This study proposes and tests a model of online information disclosure to commercial Web sites, which is an important component of e-commerce. Based on social exchange theory and research on self-disclosure in interpersonal contexts, the model emphasizes the role of trust and past online behavior in the disclosure of personal information to a commercial Web site created for this study. Data collected to test the model confirmed all predicted paths. A second aim of this exploratory research was to examine the nature and quality of online disclosure. Data show differences in online information disclosure depending on the characteristics of Internet users and the type of information requested from commercial Web sites.
Article
Teenagers will freely give up personal information to join social networks on the Internet. Afterwards, they are surprised when their parents read their journals. Communities are outraged by the personal information posted by young people online and colleges keep track of student activities on and off campus. The posting of personal information by teens and students has consequences. This article will discuss the uproar over privacy issues in social networks by describing a privacy paradox; private versus public space; and, social networking privacy issues. It will finally discuss proposed privacy solutions and steps that can be taken to help resolve the privacy paradox.
papaja: Create APA manuscripts with R Markdown
  • F Aust
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Aust, F., & Barth, M. (2018). papaja: Create APA manuscripts with R Markdown.
Retrieved from 578 www
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Online privacy concerns and privacy
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Baruh, L., Secinti, E., & Cemalcilar, Z. (2017). Online privacy concerns and privacy