Leverage Between the Buffering Effect and the Bystander Effect in Social Networking

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2015 Aug;18(8):450-6. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2014.0377. Epub 2015 Jul 21.


This study examined encouraged and inhibited social feedback behaviors based on the theories of the buffering effect and the bystander effect. A system program was used to collect personal data and social feedback from a Facebook data set to test the research model. The results revealed that the buffering effect induced a positive relationship between social network size and feedback gained from friends when people's social network size was under a certain cognitive constraint. For people with a social network size that exceeds this cognitive constraint, the bystander effect may occur, in which having more friends may inhibit social feedback. In this study, two social psychological theories were applied to explain social feedback behavior on Facebook, and it was determined that social network size and social feedback exhibited no consistent linear relationship.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Female
  • Friends / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Networking*
  • Young Adult