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jeudi 30 avril 2015

Online Discussion Forums Good for Well-Being, Study Shows

University of Exeter (04/21/15)

New research associates online forums with positive well-being and even increased community engagement offline.  University of Exeter researchers approached users of online forums catering to a variety of interests, hobbies, and lifestyles, classifying recruits into venues considered stigmatized--such as those dealing with mental health issues, postnatal depression, or a particular parenting choice--or non-stigma-related forums, such as those for golfers, bodybuilders, and environmental issues.  The researchers also questioned participants about their motivations for joining forums, fulfillment of expectations, identification with other forum users, satisfaction with life, and offline engagement with issues raised on the forum.  People often browse forums for answers, discover the venues are a source of great support, and then engage them more, which can lead to offline activities such as volunteering, donating, and campaigning.  "In a nutshell, the more users put into the forum, the more they get back, and the pay-off for both users themselves and society at large can be significant," says Sweet Briar College's Jessica Salvatore.  About 10 percent of online users in the United Kingdom and 20 percent in the U.S. regularly use online forums.
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