Approach or avoid? The dualistic effects of envy on social media users’ behavioral intention

Tien Wang, Xuan Tai Mai, Trung Dam Huy Thai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


People express themselves through posts or selfies with brands and activities on social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook and Instagram. This user-generated content provides adequate social information that may elicit the emotions of users who are exposed to such content on these online platforms. Although academic researchers have focused on factors affecting users’ emotions on SNSs, how users reconcile both positive and negative emotions to their attitude and behavior in triadic interactions remains unclear. The current study attempted to answer this research question through the lens of social comparison theory by investigating the effects of tie strength and focus of attention as two forces eliciting online social comparisons on emotional consequences measured through pleasure and envy. Moreover, the dualistic effects of the two distinct types of envy, namely benign and malicious, and the effect of pleasure on users’ approach and avoidance behavior were explored and hypothesized. The results indicated that strong ties triggered more benign envy compared with malicious envy. Furthermore, benign envy positively affected brand attitude and SNS avoidance in terms of exhaustion, whereas malicious envy negatively influenced brand attitude and increased the likelihood of SNS avoidance in terms of both exhaustion and discontinuance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102374
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Marketing
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Artificial Intelligence


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