#Crowded Conversations: Audience Diversity and the Authentic Self

Date
2020
Authors
Martinez, Anjelica M.
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Abstract

Interpersonal communication has dramatically evolved from real-life to online interactions through social media networks. Online communication however comes with caveats, namely, an exact perception of who can see generated content, and how this format influences self-presentational and identity motives. This thesis aimed to fill this gap in this literature on identity need fulfillment and the mediational role of belongingness and distinctiveness on audience diversity. This thesis had UTSA Sona participants (N = 560 participants) across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Participants were prescribed eight identities: Political Orientation, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Religious Orientation, Secularism, Race, Introverted/Extroverted, and Anxiousness, and answered questions along each identity and audience variability measurements. Multilevel structural equation modeling revealed significant positive relationships between audience diversity and belongingness, and both belongingness and distinctiveness and authenticity. Significant differences between social medias determined Twitter as associated with the highest reported levels of distinctiveness and belongingness.

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The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.
Keywords
audience diversity, authenticity, optimal distinctiveness theory, social media
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Department
Psychology