Too much or too little messaging? Situational determinants of guilt about mobile messaging

Halfmann, Annabell ; Meier, Adrian ; Reinecke, Leonard

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-588894
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication : JCMC
Volume: 26
Issue number: 2
Page range: 72-90
Place of publication: Oxford [u.a.]
Publishing house: Wiley-Blackwell [u.a.]
ISSN: 1083-6101
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Medien- und Kommunikationswisseschaft (Vorderer 2010-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: Mobile messaging has been associated with guilt. Guilt about too much messaging may result from self-control failures during goal conflicts. Conversely, guilt about too little messaging may result from violating the salient norm to be available. This research considers both boundary conditions of guilt about mobile communication—goal conflicts and availability norm salience—simultaneously for the first time. We conducted two preregistered experiments to investigate their interplay. Results from a vignette experiment, but not from a laboratory experiment, support the hypotheses that goal conflicts trigger guilt about using messengers and that guilt about not using messengers arises if the availability norm is salient. In both studies, using messengers elicited more guilt than not using messengers. The boundary conditions did not interact in influencing guilt. Overall, this research emphasizes the importance of self-control, norms, and usage contexts when studying effects of mobile media use on emotional well-being.

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