ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 454-463.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00454

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Can social network sites use bring social capital to users?

GE Hongning; ZHOU Zongkui; NIU Gengfeng; CHEN Wu   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education; School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, and Hubei Human Development and Mental Health Key Laboratory, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2015-05-05 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Contact: ZHOU Zongkui, E-mail:


Social network sites (SNS) help us to maintain and develop our social ties. Social capital is the resources embedded in our social ties and it can be accessed and mobilized through appropriate SNS use. So there is a close relationship between SNS use and social capital. However, previous studies on the relationship between SNS use and social capital are inconsistent. Specific types of SNS use behaviors have positive effects on specific types of social capital. Self-disclosure behaviors on SNS are necessary to obtain social capital. In addition, relationship maintenance behaviors, resource mobilization attempts and privacy protecting behaviors are helpful strategies for users to get social capital. Last, the limitations of the concept of social capital and the problem of overlapping between online and offline social capital are discussed.

Key words:  social network sites (SNS), social capital, social networks (social ties)