This study investigates relationships between privacy concerns, uncertainty reduction behaviors, and self-disclosure among online dating participants, drawing on uncertainty reduction theory and the warranting principle. The authors propose a conceptual model integrating privacy concerns, self-efficacy, and Internet experience with uncertainty reduction strategies and amount of self-disclosure and then test this model on a nationwide sample of online dating participants (N = 562). The study findings confirm that the frequency of use of uncertainty reduction strategies is predicted by three sets of online dating concerns-personal security, misrepresentation, and recognition-as well as self-efficacy in online dating. Furthermore, the frequency of uncertainty reduction strategies mediates the relationship between these variables and amount of self-disclosure with potential online dating partners. The authors explore the theoretical implications of these findings for our understanding of uncertainty reduction, warranting, and self-disclosure processes in online contexts.
- computer-mediated communication
- online dating
- uncertainty reduction theory