Relationship Formation on the Internet: What’s the Big Attraction?
Version of Record online: 17 DEC 2002
2002 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 9–31, Spring 2002
How to Cite
McKenna, K. Y. A., Green, A. S. and Gleason, M. E. J. (2002), Relationship Formation on the Internet: What’s the Big Attraction?. Journal of Social Issues, 58: 9–31. doi: 10.1111/1540-4560.00246
- Issue online: 17 DEC 2002
- Version of Record online: 17 DEC 2002
We hypothesized that people who can better disclose their “true” or inner self to others on the Internet than in face-to-face settings will be more likely to form close relationships on-line and will tend to bring those virtual relationships into their “real” lives. Study 1, a survey of randomly selected Internet newsgroup posters, showed that those who better express their true self over the Internet were more likely than others to have formed close on-line relationships and moved these friendships to a face-to-face basis. Study 2 revealed that the majority of these close Internet relationships were still intact 2 years later. Finally, a laboratory experiment found that undergraduates liked each other more following an Internet compared to a face-to-face initial meeting.