Study Claims Internet Forums Are Good for You
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
A psychology study by Dr. Louise Pendry has shown that internet forums and the communities that arise around them have a positive impact on human life satisfaction. Dr. Pendry, senior lecturer at the University of Exeter’s School of Psychology, found in her study, entitled Computers in Human Behaviour, that members of online forums scored very highly when assessing their own self-worth and sense of support.
Dr. Pendry divided participants into two groups: members of groups with potentially stigmatising issues, such as mental health, and those who belonged to non-stigmatised groups, like sports fans or other hobbyists. Participants were then asked about their motivations for joining their respective fora, the sense of community they feel when engaging with other members, and how it compares to their offline engagement regarding their issues.
On the results, Dr. Pendry said, “Our findings paint a more optimistic picture of old-style online discussion forums. Often we browse forums just hoping to find answers to our questions. In fact, as well as finding answers, our study showed users often discover that forums are a source of great support, especially those seeking information about more stigmatising conditions. Moreover, we found that users of both forum types who engaged more with other forum users showed a greater willingness to get involved in offline activities related to the forum, such as volunteering, donating or campaigning.”
We here at eTeknix have our own forum, dealing with such stigmatised issues as To Titan X or not to Titan X and How Fast is Your Connection?. Our own studies show that on a life-affirming scale of 1-10, the eTeknix forum scores as ‘bacon’ with most users.
Thank you PhysOrg for providing us with this information.