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The Influence of Self-Concept Improvement on Member Loyalty to Online Communities: An Empirical Comparison between Social Networks and Virtual Worlds

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2 Author(s)

Self-concept refers to an individual's conscious reflection of personal qualities constructed in a social context, and is a potent influence on the individual's social, psychological, and behavioral functioning. In this work we examine whether the use of online communities improves members' self-concepts, thereby increasing the social value they gain from, and loyalty they feel towards, these communities. Furthermore, we investigate whether the influence of self-concept improvement on perceived social value varies across two contrasting computing platforms for online communities--social networks and virtual worlds. The results of an online survey of Face book and Second Life members support the positive influence of self-concept improvement on perceived social value and member loyalty, and the moderating effect of computing platforms on these relationships.

Published in:

System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2012