First Advisor

Erin Spottswood

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Studies and University Honors




Electronic surveillance -- Social aspects, Social phobia, Online social networks -- Psychological aspects, Social interaction, Facebook (Electronic resource)




The advent of social media has created a new type of information seeking to reduce uncertainty: extractive information seeking, which refers to when people seek information about their target by perusing their online social media profiles. The social compensation hypothesis suggests that those who suffer from social anxiety in face-to-face contexts might use a computer-mediated communication context (such as Facebook) to mitigate their face-to-face anxiety. The goal of this study is to find a relationship between general social anxiety (GSA) and interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES), a type of extractive information seeking. Results from this study indicate that while there is a positive relationship between general social anxiety and extractive information seeking, the relationship was not statistically significant. Due to finding non-significant results, implications for future research should follow up on the possibility that extractive information seeking has become normative to the point that social anxiety no longer mediates extractive information seeking.


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