Exaggeration of emotional responses in online communication

Avner Caspi, Shir Etgar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two studies tested differences in reported (Study 1, N = 197) and perceived (Study 2, N = 875) level of exaggerated emotional responses published on four online platforms: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and email. We found differences between platforms that may reflect divergent communication norms. Participants judged the level of exaggeration by comparing a given message to a message that they would have published as well as to the norms that govern the communication platform. Overall, participants reported that they exaggerated less than other users. Content format (text, picture, or video) and perceived privacy level moderated the impact of the platform on judgment of exaggeration. We suggest that since online media filter out communication cues, users tend to amplify their emotional responses. This amplification generates an atmosphere in which exaggerating is the norm of communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107818
Pages (from-to)107818
Number of pages1
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

DBLP License: DBLP's bibliographic metadata records provided through http://dblp.org/ are distributed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Although the bibliographic metadata records are provided consistent with CC0 1.0 Dedication, the content described by the metadata records is not. Content may be subject to copyright, rights of privacy, rights of publicity and other restrictions.


  • Communication norms
  • Online communication
  • Online exaggeration
  • Social comparison
  • Social network applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Exaggeration of emotional responses in online communication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this