Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Donald Sacco

Advisor Department



This study explored how different social interaction formats (face-to-face versus virtual) influence individuals’ belongingness need satisfaction and interaction enjoyment. Furthermore, it also explored how personality variables related to social anxiety (i.e., Interaction Anxiousness, Fear of Negative Evaluation) interact with social interaction format to influence belongingness needs satisfaction and enjoyment. Participants engaged in a conventional face-to-face interaction or a virtual interaction (via Instant Messenger) with a same-sex confederate on a between-subjects basis. Participants then indicated the extent to which the interaction satisfied fundamental social needs (e.g., self-esteem, belonging), their positive and negative mood, as well as how much they enjoyed the interaction. The results indicated that face-to-face interactions led to greater satisfaction of basic belonging needs, more positive mood, and higher levels of interaction enjoyment than virtual interactions. Personality factors related to social anxiety did not moderate these findings.