The emotional broadcaster theory of social sharing

Kent D. Harber, Dov J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article introduces the Emotional Broadcaster Theory (EBT) of emotional disclosure. EBT proposes that the intrapsychic need to share experiences with others serves the interpersonal function of transmitting news. According to the model, psychologically arousing stories will travel across social networks. In addition, the extent to which stories travel reflects the degree to which the original teller was affected by the experience shared. These hypotheses were tested in a field study wherein college students visited a hospital morgue. Students' reactions to this experience predicted how many people they told (primary sharing), how many people their friends told (secondary sharing), and how many people their friends' friends told (tertiary sharing). Within 10 days, nearly 900 people heard about this event through these cascading levels of disclosure. The relation of EBT to discrepancy theories of emotion and to basic beliefs is discussed, as are additional predictions arising from EBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-400
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Fingerprint

broadcaster
Disclosure
Students
travel
Social Support
experience
Emotions
social network
news
emotion
student
Social Theory
Broadcasters
Emotion
event

Keywords

  • Disclosure
  • Emotions
  • News
  • Social sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

The emotional broadcaster theory of social sharing. / Harber, Kent D.; Cohen, Dov J.

In: Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 4, 01.12.2005, p. 382-400.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{2017e51813fa4f97a6105770aacdef05,
title = "The emotional broadcaster theory of social sharing",
abstract = "This article introduces the Emotional Broadcaster Theory (EBT) of emotional disclosure. EBT proposes that the intrapsychic need to share experiences with others serves the interpersonal function of transmitting news. According to the model, psychologically arousing stories will travel across social networks. In addition, the extent to which stories travel reflects the degree to which the original teller was affected by the experience shared. These hypotheses were tested in a field study wherein college students visited a hospital morgue. Students' reactions to this experience predicted how many people they told (primary sharing), how many people their friends told (secondary sharing), and how many people their friends' friends told (tertiary sharing). Within 10 days, nearly 900 people heard about this event through these cascading levels of disclosure. The relation of EBT to discrepancy theories of emotion and to basic beliefs is discussed, as are additional predictions arising from EBM.",
keywords = "Disclosure, Emotions, News, Social sharing",
author = "Harber, {Kent D.} and Cohen, {Dov J.}",
year = "2005",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0261927X05281426",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "24",
pages = "382--400",
journal = "Journal of Language and Social Psychology",
issn = "0261-927X",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The emotional broadcaster theory of social sharing

AU - Harber, Kent D.

AU - Cohen, Dov J.

PY - 2005/12/1

Y1 - 2005/12/1

N2 - This article introduces the Emotional Broadcaster Theory (EBT) of emotional disclosure. EBT proposes that the intrapsychic need to share experiences with others serves the interpersonal function of transmitting news. According to the model, psychologically arousing stories will travel across social networks. In addition, the extent to which stories travel reflects the degree to which the original teller was affected by the experience shared. These hypotheses were tested in a field study wherein college students visited a hospital morgue. Students' reactions to this experience predicted how many people they told (primary sharing), how many people their friends told (secondary sharing), and how many people their friends' friends told (tertiary sharing). Within 10 days, nearly 900 people heard about this event through these cascading levels of disclosure. The relation of EBT to discrepancy theories of emotion and to basic beliefs is discussed, as are additional predictions arising from EBM.

AB - This article introduces the Emotional Broadcaster Theory (EBT) of emotional disclosure. EBT proposes that the intrapsychic need to share experiences with others serves the interpersonal function of transmitting news. According to the model, psychologically arousing stories will travel across social networks. In addition, the extent to which stories travel reflects the degree to which the original teller was affected by the experience shared. These hypotheses were tested in a field study wherein college students visited a hospital morgue. Students' reactions to this experience predicted how many people they told (primary sharing), how many people their friends told (secondary sharing), and how many people their friends' friends told (tertiary sharing). Within 10 days, nearly 900 people heard about this event through these cascading levels of disclosure. The relation of EBT to discrepancy theories of emotion and to basic beliefs is discussed, as are additional predictions arising from EBM.

KW - Disclosure

KW - Emotions

KW - News

KW - Social sharing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=29144512038&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=29144512038&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0261927X05281426

DO - 10.1177/0261927X05281426

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:29144512038

VL - 24

SP - 382

EP - 400

JO - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

SN - 0261-927X

IS - 4

ER -