Virtual communities have become significant applica tions for the Internet. Previous studies usually treated virtual communities as places for people to share and exchange information and did not explain the social value of comm unities well. This study treated a virtual community as a stage on which people can present themselves to other users while others can see the shows of people to satisfy their social comparison needs. Based on social co mparison theory, this paper investigated the effects of upward social comparison in virtual communiti es on user satisfaction through the mediations of perceived inspiration and self-improvement. Furthermore, these effects were moderated by individual social comparison orientation. The results of this study should enhance the understanding of the nature and the social value of information in virtual communities.
Shang, Rong-An; Chen, Yu-Chen; and Huang, Chao-Chi, "A Stage For Social Comparison — The Value Of Information In Virtual Communities" (2012). PACIS 2012 Proceedings. 166.