Alexandria Digital Research Library

An Expectancy Violations Theory and Social Identity Approach to Understanding Normative Deviance in Online Communities

Author:
Nicholls, Spencer Byron
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Communication
Degree Supervisor:
Ronald E. Rice
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2016
Issued Date:
2016
Topics:
Communication and Sociology
Keywords:
Expectancy Violations Theory
Deviance
Online Groups
Norms
Online Communities
Social Identity Theory
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
M.A.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016
Description:

Deviance from normative behavior is not only prevalent in offline interactions, but those that take place online as well. Several theories have sought to address the notion of deviant behavior, but have done so with a focus on either individual or group-level behavior. In online contexts identities can easily switch (i.e., be made salient at either an individual level or a group level), and existing theorizing on deviant behavior does not take into account this identity salience as a factor in responding to deviance. The current study explores deviance from the lens of expectancy violations theory (an individual-level theory) and social identity approaches (a group-level perspective) simultaneously. A key notion in expectancy violation theory is also how individuals respond to ambiguous deviance through assessing the reward value of the deviant, which has not been explored with a social identity approach. To determine the effect of identity salience, type of deviance, and reward on perceptions of deviant behavior a 2 (primed identity: group, personal) x 2 (type of deviance: ambiguous, negative) x 2 (reward value: high, low) between-subjects factorial design experiment was used.

The study found no significant effects of group identity on perceptions of deviance for either type of deviance, nor significant effects of reward value (due to an unsuccessful manipulation). The reward value manipulation, while unsuccessful, created an opportunity to further explore the evaluation of reward in online contexts. Open-ended questions to assess how individuals evaluate reward revealed a confound with the deviance manipulation, as well as the role that trust, online platform/community, and amount of information plays in evaluation of rewardingness online. Future research directions for these two theoretical perspectives are discussed with regard to identity, deviance, and reward.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (104 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f3m61k2r
ISBN:
9781339671857
Catalog System Number:
990046534580203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Spencer Nicholls
File Description
Access: Public access
Nicholls_ucsb_0035N_12944.pdf pdf (Portable Document Format)