Publication date: April 2020
Source: Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 105
Author(s): Soyeon Kwon
This research provides a new perspective to understand user participation in social media by focusing on the user-platform relationship. By drawing on the theory of psychological ownership, this study argues that the key to promoting user participation is to create feelings of ownership toward social media, as this signifies a strong psychological bond between users and the platform. The model was tested using a web-based survey with respondents that were recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Structural equation modeling analyses demonstrated that self-investment and perceived control positively influenced users’ psychological ownership toward social media, which in turn increased user participation. However, unlike previous literature on psychological ownership, this study found a negative association between intimate knowledge, that is, the degree of acquaintance as well as the number of experiences with social media, and users’ psychological ownership. The results further showed that the paths toward achieving a sense of psychological ownership varied according to the extent to which users interact with others whom they perceive to be psychologically close to themselves, which is referred to as social distance. The theoretical and managerial implications for social media practitioners are also discussed.