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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Is a Profile Worth a Thousand Words? How Online Support-Seeker’s Profile Features May Influence the Quality of Received Support Messages

  • Author(s): Feng, B
  • Li, S
  • Li, N
  • et al.

© 2013, © The Author(s) 2013. Although there is an increasing amount of research on support-seeking in cyberspace, very little is known about what features of online support-seeking can enhance the quality of received support. The present experiment examined how support-seekers’ use of cues to personal identity in their user profile can influence the level of person-centeredness and politeness in others’ responses to their support-seeking postings. Results showed that support-seekers whose user profile contained a portrait picture and a first name ID tended to receive higher person-centered and more polite support messages than support-seekers whose user profile did not contain those cues to personal identity.

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