Sentiment Polarization and Balance among Users in Online Social Networks

Robert Hillmann, Matthias Trier

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Communication within online social network applications enables users to express and share sentiments electronically. Existing studies examined the existence or distribution of sentiments in online communication at a general level or in small-observed groups. Our paper extends this research by analyzing sentiment exchange within social networks from an ego-network perspective. We draw from research on social influence and social attachment to develop theories of node polarization, balance effects and sentiment mirroring within communication dyads. Our empirical analysis covers a multitude of social networks in which the sentiment valence of all messages was determined. Subsequently we studied ego-networks of focal actors (ego) and their immediate contacts. Results support our theories and indicate that actors develop polarized sentiments towards individual peers but keep sentiment in balance on the ego-network level. Further, pairs of nodes tend to establish similar attitudes towards each other leading to stable and polarized positive or negative relationships
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAMCIS 2012 Proceedings : Virtual Communities and Virtual Worlds
    EditorsK.D. Joshi, Youngjin Yoo
    Number of pages10
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2012
    Article numberPaper 10
    ISBN (Electronic)9780615663463
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventThe 18th Americas Conference on Information Systems AMCIS 2012: Reflect and Redefine: Designing the Digital Future - Seattle, United States
    Duration: 9 Aug 201211 Aug 2012
    Conference number: 18


    ConferenceThe 18th Americas Conference on Information Systems AMCIS 2012
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address

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