Social Desirability in Virtual Communities

Francesco Massara, Fabio Ancarani, Michele Costabile, Francesco Ricotta


As virtual worlds and social media in general become important settings for marketing actions, we need to know what is the weight of social norms within such contexts. To what degree can a researcher expect that the answers obtained within a virtual world – ultimately a social network – reflect real opinions and are not inflated by social desirability? Does the social context of an online community induce higher social desirability? This paper investigates whether social desirability is stronger within virtual world online communities than in the real world, observing same structural relationship among measured constructs but higher social desirability tendency in the virtual world compared to the real life. Since social networks and online communities will be more often used as research and communication platforms, increased attention needs to be paid to the social desirability tendency of the community members.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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