The impact of personality traits on participation in an online cancer community of posters and lurkers
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 20:05 authored by Basma Badreddine
The aim of this study was to examine the impact of the personality traits of cancer-affected people who are members of an online cancer community on their online posting behaviour. The users in this study were defined as either posters (users that contribute regularly) or lurkers (those who visited the online community but did not contribute). Online cancer communities provide support for cancer-affected people who experience psychological and emotional challenges. Therefore, the long-term viability of the online community needs a way of minimising lurking behaviour and encouraging participation to ensure it meets the needs of all users. That is, we need to better understand why lurkers do not participate and why posters contribute. This study examined the personality traits of both posters and lurkers to determine whether personality traits influence users' decisions to post in an online cancer community. To better understand the personality traits of online cancer community users, qualitative semi-structured interviews incorporating the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality traits were conducted with 42 users of the Cancer Council Online Community (CCOC) in NSW, Australia. The results showed that the extraversion, emotional stability, and agreeableness traits influence posting behaviour in an online cancer community, whereas the conscientiousness trait influences lurking behaviour. The openness trait does not impact users' online behaviour as posters and lurkers exhibited similar attitudes in their openness trait. The study contributes to the literature by providing insights into the impact personality traits have on the decisions of posters and lurkers to contribute to discussions in an online cancer community -- abstract.