Student Reactions to Professor Use of Facebook
Date of Award
College of Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Art in Psychology
Honors Thesis Director
Honors Thesis Reader 1
Honors Thesis Reader 2
Mazer, Murphy and Simonds (2007) recently demonstrated that high self-disclosure, compared to low self-disclosure, on a fictitious professor's Facebook profile was related to students' expectations of a positive classroom environment and high levels of motivation. These findings raise the question of whether all types of self-disclosure would have the same effect. This study examined college students' perceptions of specific ways that professors might use Facebook. We created six Facebook profiles for a fictitious male professor, each with a specific emphasis: Republican, Democrat, religious, family- oriented, socially oriented, or professional only. While viewing a printed version of one of the randomly distributed profiles, participants responded to questions that assessed their perceptions of the professors' teaching ability, classroom demeanor and appropriateness of self-disclosure, as well as their own Facebook use. Students responded most negatively, but sometimes with greatest interest, to professors' posting of social and political information. Appropriate use of Facebook, including professional and family information, increased students' respect for the professor and his classroom. These findings could be very helpful in guiding professor Facebook use.
West, Aimee M., "Student Reactions to Professor Use of Facebook" (2010). Honors Program Theses. 74.