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Empirical Analysis Of Social Support Provided Via Social Media

L. Medeiros, T. Bosse
Published 2016 · Psychology, Computer Science

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Social media are an effective means for people to share everyday problems with their peers. Although this often leads to empathic responses which help alleviate the experienced stress, such peer support is not always available. As an alternative solution for such situations, this paper explores the possibilities to develop an ‘artificial friend’ that offers online social support through text messages. To formulate the requirements for such a system, a pilot study was performed in which 230 participants were asked (via a crowdsourcing platform) to report their experiences regarding online peer support. The results have been converted into a number of working hypotheses about online peer support. Based on these hypotheses, a conceptual framework has been developed that describes the functioning of the proposed support system.
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