SAGE Journal Articles

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Walther, J. B., Van Der Heide, B., Hamel, L. M., & Shulman, H. C. (2009). Self-generated versus other-generated statements and impressions in computer-mediated communication: A test of warranting theory using Facebook. Communication Research, 36, 229-253. doi:10.1177/0093650208330251

The warranting principle pertains to impression formation in Internet communication. It posits that perceivers’ judgments about a target rely more heavily on information which the targets themselves cannot manipulate than on self-descriptions. Two experiments employed mock-up profiles resembling the Internet site, Facebook, to display self-generated clues and to display other-generated clues about a Facebook user. The first experiment (N = 115) tested perceptions of extraversion. Although warranting was supported, rival explanations (negativity and additivity) also pertained. The second experiment (N = 125) tested perceptions of physical attractiveness. Friends’ comments overrode self-comments, supporting warranting theory exclusively. Implications concern boundary-setting research for warranting, and potential effects of social comments on a variety of new information forms.

Floyd, K., & Morman, M. T. (2005). Fathers’ and sons’ reports of fathers’ affectionate communication: Implications of a naïve theory of affection. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22, 99-109. doi:10.1177/0265407505049323

According to Robey, Cohen, and Epstein (1988), children may hold a naïve theory of affection, whereby they believe that their parents’ affection for them is a finite resource for which they must compete against their siblings. Parents, conversely, are unlikely to view their own affection in the same way. Although research on naïve theories is often conducted with youngsters, we speculated that even adult children may perceive that they compete with their siblings for their parents’ affection, and we tested the naïve theory of affection in a study of 115 dyads of adult men and their adult sons. As hypothesized, the sons’ numbers of brothers and sisters were associated inversely with sons’ reports of how much affection they received from their fathers but were unrelated to fathers’ reports. Fathers’ and sons’ reports of fathers’ affection were also linearly related to each other, but fathers reported being more affectionate with their sons than their sons reported them being. Results suggest that naïve theorizing about parental affection is not limited to young children but continues to affect familial experience in adulthood.