An Inner Superhero: Experiments on Information Sharing in Anonymous Virtual Communities

Daniel A. Sanchez-Loor, Wei Shiun Chang, Manuel A. Zambrano-Monserrate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In anonymous settings, the expectation of social benefits from information sharing is traditionally low, as public recognition is absent. However, numerous virtual communities witness active information exchange under anonymous aliases. This study examines the role of feedback mechanisms along with two factors — competition and social distance — on information sharing. Our experimental study, controlling reciprocity and anonymity, reveals that feedback mechanisms and reduced social distance promote information sharing, particularly positive feedback. The effectiveness of the feedback mechanism in these conditions can be explained by the self-verification theory, where sharing becomes a positive reinforcement of self-image. Our findings about information sharing offer relevant insights for firms aiming to enhance innovation and collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-76
Number of pages28
JournalTaiwan Economic Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance


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