Susceptibility to social influence predicts behavior on Facebook

Stöckli, Sabrina; Hofer, Doris (2020). Susceptibility to social influence predicts behavior on Facebook. PLoS ONE, 15(3), e0229337. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0229337

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Susceptibility to social influence (SSI) has been reported as a key factor for social influence in online social networks (OSNs) such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In four online studies, we show that the personality trait of SSI, namely the susceptibility to normative influence (SNI), predicts the extent to which Facebook users comply with the behavior of others on Facebook (e.g., buying, voting, or visiting what other OSN users post). In Studies 1a and 1b, we find that SSI correlates with diverse OSN behaviors, which are the typical results of being affected by social influence. In Study 1b, we find that the perceived importance of the topic of OSN behaviors (e.g., fashion or politics) moderates the effect of SNI on OSN behavior, with a higher importance resulting in a stronger effect of SNI on OSN behavior. In Studies 2 and 3, we find that SNI predicts the extent Facebook users hypothetically “like” diverse topics on Facebook. We also find partial support for the idea that there are interactions between SNI and the Big Five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) on OSN behavior. Specifically, the extent to which the Big Five personality traits of openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism predict OSN behavior depends on Facebook users’ SNI. Our studies contribute to research on the personality-based prediction of OSN behavior and help in better understanding the dynamics of social influence in OSNs, underlining the vulnerability of susceptible OSN users.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Consumer Behavior

UniBE Contributor:

Stöckli, Sabrina and Hofer, Doris


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Public Library of Science


[UNSPECIFIED] University of Bern




Sabrina Stöckli

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2021 13:53

Last Modified:

28 Mar 2021 03:59

Publisher DOI:





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