Behavioral Contagion on Social Media: Effects of Social Norms, Design Interventions, and Critical Media Literacy on Self-disclosure

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Description: This research project aimed at investigating whether higher media literacy and subtle alterations of a social network site’s (SNS) architecture can promote more privacy-aware behavior. Prior research suggests that users of SNSs adapt to prevailing social norms. Many SNS users share intimate details of their life, thus promoting a social norm of sharing private information as an appropriate or even expected behavior. The goal of this research project is (1) to provide more fine-grained evidence for this mechanism and (2) to investigate whether critical and reflective abilities and subtle design interventions can mitigate the effects of prevailing social norms and thereby promote more privacy-aware behavior on SNSs. To this purpose, this project includes three studies: (1) a survey investigating the relationships between different types of norms and social media behavior (manuscript 1 is based on study 1), (2) an online-experiment analyzing in how far people can make meaningful inferences of prevailing norms based on screenshots of social media feeds, and (3) a multi-method experiment analyzing if participants who are exposed to different social norms on a website, adapt their disclosure behavior (manuscript 2 is based on study 2 and 3).

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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  • Study 2 - Online-Experiment

    In the second study (study 1 in the second paper), we conducted an online-experiment in which we studied how the exposure to different social network ...

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  • Study 3 - Experiment

    The third study (study 2 in the second paper) is a multi-method experiment in which we analyzed if participants who are exposed to different social no...

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  • Manuscript 2 & Online Supplement 2

    This component contains the (computationally) reproducible manuscript and online supplement that are based on study 2 and 3. The markdown documents so...

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  • Bibliography

    This component contains bibtex files with all bibliographical information (including information about the used r-packages in all three studies).

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