The Hyperception Model: What Happens When You Do Not Know Your Significant Other's Friends Offline

The Hyperception Model: What Happens When You Do Not Know Your Significant Other's Friends Offline

Erin Spottswood (Portland State University, USA) and Christopher J. Carpenter (Western Illinois University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICST.2020010101


The hyperperception model was used to identify the importance of Facebook users knowing their romantic partner's Facebook friends in predicting romantic jealousy. A cross-sectional survey (N = 615) found that surveillance of romantic partners, knowing fewer of the partner's Facebook friends, and frequent interactions between the partner and unknown but not known friends on Facebook were all associated with romantic jealousy, which was in turn associated with a greater intention of leaving one's romantic partner. The data was also consistent with good fit for a path model integrating these bivariate relationships.
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Hyperpersonal Model

According to Walther’s (1996) hyperpersonal model, a relationship between two people interacting in a computer-mediated context may become hyperpersonal or rather “more socially desirable” than people “tend to experience in parallel FtF (face-to-face) interaction” (p. 17). Essentially, senders are able to carefully craft their self-presentations so that they present the most positive version of themselves due to the ability to carefully compose their messages and control or eliminate most nonverbal cues. These abilities are afforded to users via the channel (e.g., ability to edit and reflect a message prior to sending it, ability to write in but also leave out personal characteristics that the sender thinks portrays them in the way they ideally want to be perceived, etc.). Receivers extrapolate from the small amount of positive information they glean that their interaction partner possesses many positive traits. That receiver provides increasingly positive feedback that encourages the particularly positive self-presentation by the sender. This prompts a feedback loop where the sender and receiver both develop especially positive perceptions of each other and their relationship.

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