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Title: Psychological costs of support seeking and choice of communication channel
Authors: Lim, V.K.G. 
Teo, T.S.H. 
Zhao, X.
Keywords: email
social support
support seeking
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Lim, V.K.G., Teo, T.S.H., Zhao, X. (2013). Psychological costs of support seeking and choice of communication channel. Behaviour and Information Technology 32 (2) : 132-146. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: While seeking support brings benefits, it also entails some costs to the seeker. We propose that seeking support involves two types of psychological costs: intra- and inter-personal costs. Intra-personal cost is defined as the psychological threat arising from the perception that one fails to achieve one's own aspiration, while inter-personal cost is defined as the psychological threat arising from the perception that one fails to meet others' expectation. These costs result from individuals focusing on different aspects of the self and will deter individuals from seeking support. We conducted two studies. In the first study, we adapted, developed and validated scales to measure the two types of psychological costs. In the second study, we examined the impact of both types of psychological costs on individuals' choice of communication channel when seeking support. We found that only inter-personal cost was significantly related to seekers' choice of communication channel. Specifically, the higher the inter-personal cost perceived, the greater the likelihood that individuals would prefer email over face-to-face communication. We also found that women were more likely to seek support through email than face-to-face communication compared to men. Implications of the results for research and practice are discussed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Source Title: Behaviour and Information Technology
ISSN: 0144929X
DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2010.518248
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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