Motivation to Share

  • Susannah B. F. Paletz
  • Brooke E. Auxier
  • Ewa M. Golonka
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Complexity book series (BRIEFSCOMPLEXITY)


The literature identifies multiple motivations underlying individuals’ drive to share information on social media. We categorized these motivations using the psychological concept of needs that all humans have (i.e., need for impression management and enhancement, need for self-consistency and social identity, need for accuracy, and need for affiliation). Groups and individuals within a society may also have sociopolitical and economic motivations. Non-genuine actors are driven by their creators’ human motivations to share information. There may be individual differences in these motives, such that for some people, some of these motives are stronger than others. Individuals may also have different thresholds for sharing behavior, such that some share online more easily than others, based on how well they feel that information sharing on social media provides an outlet for these needs and how appropriate they feel their behavior is. These motivations are not mutually exclusive.


Social media Social media users Psychology Motivation Information science Impression management Needs Sociopolitical Economic Trolls Bots Social media sharing 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susannah B. F. Paletz
    • 1
  • Brooke E. Auxier
    • 2
  • Ewa M. Golonka
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Study of LanguageUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Philip Merrill College of JournalismUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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