Analysis of the Article

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Analysisof the Article

Analysisof the Article

Thearticle “Exploring Facebook: Attachment style and nonverbal messagecharacteristics as predictors of anticipated emotional reactions toFacebook postings” was authored by Christina Fleuriet, Megan Cole,and Laura Guerrero. The article was published in the Journal ofNonverbal Behavior in 2014. The aim of the study documented in thearticle was to investigate the probability of developing negativeemotional experiences after reading jealousy-inducing posts made onFacebook by rivals. The researchers considered Facebook post to be aform of non-verbal communication.

Theauthors based their study on some ideas generated by other scholarsas considered in their literature review section. For example, theyreviewed a study published by Muise etal.(2009), which indicated that the amount of time that people spend onFacebook was positively associated with the tendency to feel jealous.They also reviewed a study conducted by Poeschl (2007), which showedthat computer mediated communications have a lot of non-verbal cuesthat can generate emotions. In addition, the authors consideredstatistics published by Pemek etal.(2009) showing that over 32.61 % of the Facebook users read poststhat are made by other people. These findings guided the thinking ofthe authors, who came up with the idea of investigating therelationship between jealousy-inducing posts and the possibility ofexpressing negative emotional responses.


Theresearchers used an experimental study design to conduct theirinvestigation. They accomplished the study by recruiting about 821participants, who were students from a large university that islocated in the Southwestern United States. All subjects were enrolledin different courses on communication studies. Their age rangedbetween 18 and 57 years. The study was conducted in the context of anincrease in the use of the social media as a platform for interactionand keeping in touch with friends in the virtual world. Differentapproaches were used to measure the concepts. An instrument referredto as Guerrero’s scale was used to measure the attachment style ofthe participants. The effect of Facebook was measured using thesoftware manipulated facial images developed by a German scholarknown as Braun. In addition, the perceived probability of expressingsome negative responses was measured using a Likert-type scale withseven points.

AReview of the Findings

Theresearchers identified that the addition of emotions, wink faces, andphysical attractiveness as a means of non-verbal cues increased theprobability of developing negative responses. In addition, being lowin dismissive and high in preoccupied types of attachment increasedthe risk of expressing negative responses. Gender was also found tohave an impact where women were more likely to express negativeresponses compared to the male subjects. In all the aforementionedinstances, the risk of developing negative responses was attributedto the fact that the Facebook posts are full of non-verbal cues thatare capable of arousing emotions.

Strengthsand Limitations

Oneof the key strengths of the article is the use of an experimentaldesign to investigate the relationship between the variables. Theexperimental design is associated with numerous benefits. Itincreases the researchers’ ability to control the variables, usemultiple variables, and make clear cut conclusions. These factorsenhance the reliability of the findings. One of the key limitationsof the study is the fact that the facial images were not presented onthe actual Facebook page. This limited the possibility of creating areal scenario. Additionally, the researchers did not measure thelevels of satisfaction and length of romantic relationships, but theymight have determined the possibility of expressing negativeresponses. Moreover, the findings of this research cannot begeneralized to other populations besides the one considered by theauthors, which limit the application of the study.

Conclusionand Lessons about Interpersonal Communication

Thereare two major lessons that can be learned from the study findingsregarding interpersonal communication. First, the context in which agiven social interaction occurs affects the effectiveness ofcommunication. For example, the social media platforms facilitateconversations that have a lot of non-verbal cues. These cuesfacilitate the exchange of emotions and feelings. Secondly, readerscan learn that interpersonal communication does not only focus on thetype of language, but also how things are said. For example, the typeof message and words used determines whether a Facebook user willexpress a negative response or not.


Fleuriet,C., Cole, M. &amp Guerrero, K. (2014). Exploring Facebook:Attachment style and non-verbal message characteristics as predictorsof anticipated emotional reactions to Facebook postings. Journalof Non-verbal Behavior,38, 429-450.

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