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Western Illinois University Faculty Member Publishes Journal Article About Social Media Impact


MACOMB/Moline, IL – A Western Illinois University faculty member is part of a social media research study recently published in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Associate Professor Christopher Carpenter and Erin L. Spottswood, a faculty member at Portland State University in Oregon, co-wrote “The Hyperperception Model: When Your Partner’s New Friends Inspire Jealousy and Failing to Use Social Distancing.”

Carpenter said he and his colleague were interested in romantic jealousy associated with observing the interactions of one’s romantic partner on Facebook.

“We found that romantic jealousy associated with social media use may have contributed to risky behavior during the early days of the pandemic,” said Carpenter. “Specifically, among those who did not live together, observing your romantic partner interacting frequently with a new potential rival you did not previously know was associated with a greater risk of intending to encourage your partner to violate stay at home orders and meet up.”

The paper was born from a five-week research study, which began in May 2020, when people were being asked to stay at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study surveyed WIU students about aspects of their non-cohabitating relationships.

Carpenter has written or co-written over 50 other articles about human communication and about the impact of social media. In May 2020, he was honored by the International Communication Association for a paper he co-authored with faculty from two other universities.

The most recent paper can be found at doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2020.0492. For more information about the WIU Department of Communication, visit wiu.edu/communication.

Western Illinois University Faculty Member Publishes Journal Article About Social Media Impact

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.



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