University of Oulu

Tikka, P. & Oinas-Kukkonen, H. Pers Ubiquit Comput (2017) 21: 705.

Contributing or receiving : the role of social interaction styles in persuasion over a social networking platform

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Author: Tikka, Piiastiina1; Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri1
Organizations: 1Oulu Advanced Research on Service and Information Systems, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-04-25


In this paper, the use of the social network platform Twitter is explored in relation to behavior change (BC) for health. We studied the effect of participation style (tweeters vs. non-tweeters) on perceived health behavior change through the constructs “social influence,” “efficacy,” and “pre-test health behavior.” In the experiment (N = 30), participants were given a basic health message, and the tweeters were then asked to actively search, think up, and share tips and guidance with non-tweeters. Results indicate that for both tweeters and non-tweeters, efficacy and social influence were positively related, but that efficacy and perceived health behavior change are only positively related for non-tweeters. From this, we concluded that participation style can impact the effect of efficacy on target behavior. To understand the information processing in the two groups in terms of higher or lower need for cognition, we also studied the participants’ thought elaboration. We found that tweeters were more distracted from elaboration on the health message, in particular those tweeters presenting a higher need for cognition. From this, we concluded that taking an active content creating role in peer-to-peer e-coaching systems may lead (a) to higher efficacy appraisal without a positive impact on BC and (b) to reduced attention on the intended behavior change message. In other words, the position of producing content may not translate into better intake of that content. In conclusion, there is a need for investigating strategies for overcoming the distracting nature of an active sharing role in e-coaching systems presented by a social network platform.

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Series: Personal and ubiquitous computing
ISSN: 1617-4909
ISSN-E: 1617-4917
ISSN-L: 1617-4909
Volume: 21
Issue: 4
Pages: 705 - 721
DOI: 10.1007/s00779-017-1027-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © Springer-Verlag London 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. The final authenticated version is available online at: