A sense of community

Subtle visual cues nudge users to reveal more in online forums

Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but icons may be even more powerful in nudging people to disclose more information online, according to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers. In a study, researchers found that people using an online sexual health forum featuring computer graphics, called icons, that implied a sense of crowd size and connectivity, revealed more sensitive information than visitors to a site without those visual cues, said S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory. ….[READ]