Am I Disclosing Too Much? Student Perceptions of Teacher Credibility via Facebook

Zuoming Wang, Hannah Novak, Heather Scofield-Snow, Sarah Traylor, YuanYuan Zhou

Abstract


This study examined the effects of teacher self-disclosure via Facebook on perceived teacher credibility. Undergraduate students (N=92) were randomly assigned to view one of the eight versions of the Facebook webpage of a teacher (either male or female) that involved two types of self-disclosure: images of alcohol drinking, and a narrative with emotionally-loaded language. The credibility ratings of the teacher indicated that revealing information about alcohol consumption and emotional problems concerning a personal relationship negatively influence student perception of teacher credibility. However, several gender differences emerged, indicating that an inherent bias exists in perceptions of credibility and appropriate self-disclosure. Specifically, male teachers were perceived more credible than female teachers in general. Moreover, the emotionally-loaded self-disclosure did not influence the female teacher's credibility, but did reduce the male teacher’s credibility. Credibility was also influenced by the physical attractiveness of the teacher and the belief whether it is acceptable for a teacher to have Facebook profile. 


Keywords


self-disclosure; Facebook; teacher credibility

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References


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