Face off: Implications of visual cues on initiating friendship on Facebook

Shaojung Sharon Wang, Shin Il Moon, Kyounghee Hazel Kwon, Carolyn A. Evans, Michael A. Stefanone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


This research investigates how moderating factors and theoretically relevant contextual variables affect impression formation and the willingness to initiate virtual friendship. An experiment examined both main and interaction effects for visual cues, profile owner's gender, and evaluator's gender; a 2 (stimulus gender: male and female) × 3 (visual conditions: attractive, unattractive, and no-photo) × 2 (evaluator's gender: male and female) between subjects model analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed. A three-way interaction between gender and appearance was revealed. The results indicated that both male and female subjects were more willing to initiate friendships with opposite-sex profile owners with attractive photos. Subjects also displayed comparatively higher willingness to make friends with profile owners who did not include visual cues than with those who revealed an unattractive photo. The hyperpersonal model was supported and extended to address gender attributes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CMC
  • Facebook
  • Hyperpersonal
  • Impression formation
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Visucal cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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