Who are likely to build strong online social networks? The perspectives of relational cohesion theory and personality theory

Han Chung Huang, Edwin Tai Chiu Cheng, Wei Fan Huang, Ching I. Teng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about the underlying mechanisms of building strong social networks and who are likely to build them. To address these issues, we develop a new theoretical framework grounded in relational cohesion theory and personality theory. We test the framework using data from a sample of 436 users of social networking sites. We use structural equation modelling for data analysis. We find that openness and agreeableness are positively, while conscientiousness and neuroticism are negatively, related to exchange frequency. In turn, exchange frequency is positively related to pleasure-satisfaction and interest-excitement, which are positively related to relational cohesion, which is related to seven aspects of online relationships, namely relational depth, breadth, code change, predictability, commitment, interdependence, and network convergence. Our study is the first to use the two theories to explain how personality traits affect online relationships. Our findings provide insights for information systems managers to make effective decisions on resource allocation and target markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Information systems
  • Online relationships
  • Personality
  • Relational cohesion theory
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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