Online social networks and friending behaviour

a self-determination theory perspective

Lucy M. Miller, Daniel D. Prior

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


Links between the underlying motives for using online social networks and resulting user behaviours remain under-researched. Friending is one such behaviour. The friending process joins user profiles together into a network web, creating links through which users can navigate the network by moving between profiles. The articulation and public display of friendship differentiates social networking sites from other social media sites. Understanding what drives users to grow their networks will provide a framework for the development of retention strategies. Using Self-Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan, 1985), this paper investigates the role of online social networks in supporting friending behaviour, and suggests site usage satisfies basic psychological needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationANZMAC 2010
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings : doing more with less
EditorsPaul Ballantine, Jörg Finsterwalder
Place of PublicationChristchurch, New Zealand
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780473178208
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2010) - Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 29 Nov 20101 Dec 2010


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2010)
CityChristchurch, New Zealand


  • online social networks
  • self-determination theory
  • motivation

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    Miller, L. M., & Prior, D. D. (2010). Online social networks and friending behaviour: a self-determination theory perspective. In P. Ballantine, & J. Finsterwalder (Eds.), ANZMAC 2010: proceedings : doing more with less Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury.