Formalizing the Role of Social Capital on Individuals' Continuous Use of Social Networking Sites from a Social Cognitive Perspective

  • Published : 2014.02.28


By integrating useful insights from social cognitive theory and social capital theory, we aim to develop a model for better understanding people's behaviors related to the use of social networking sites (SNSs) and formalize the role of social capital in individuals' continuous SNS use. Propositions that emphasize the triadic interactive relationships among environmental, personal, and behavioral factors were highlighted in this study. After reviewing previous studies, in this paper we proposed the following: (1) the causation between SNS use and individuals' perceived social capital might be mutual; social capital may not only be the result of media selectivity, but could also be an essential stimulus initiating the start of using SNSs; (2) the influences of SNSs use on the generation of individuals' online social capital might be conditional upon particular patterns of use; (3) both the level of dependence on SNSs and the differentiated patterns of SNSs use vary according to individuals' perceived offline social capital and their personal characteristics, for instance, personality or self-construal, and social anxiety.


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