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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 18 they are relatively rare diseases, an online community dealing with the disease would give greater opportunity for them to find information on new treatment, doctors, and or just to talk to someone who would understand what they are going through. It is expected that the level of identification would be very high for those people. This may be true to other people who are involved in online communities for other purposes. The selection of involving with online community is very personal and individualistic. People choose their online communities according to their interests and needs. In that case, people tend to show higher level of attachment and commitment to their own decision. In fact, cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) well supports this reasoning. According to cognitive dissonance theory, inconsistency among a person’s beliefs, attitude and/ or behaviors causes psychological discomfort which induces efforts to avoid or to reduce dissonance by changing belief, attitudes or behaviors so they are perceived as consistent. The theory further explains that an individual, after his or her choice, tries to reduce dissonance by viewing the choice he or she made as more desirable and the rejected alternatives as less desirable. To maintain the obtained consistency, the person selectively processes positive information regarding the choice and expresses positive attitudes and behaviors reinforcing the desirability of their choice (Harmon-Jones, 2002). The implication of the theory is that the resulting behaviors may be greater attachment and commitment to the online community he or she chose to join and more participation in the activities in the online community. As mentioned earlier, freedom involved in choosing and participating in online community is expected to lead greater level of community identification among members.

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
18
they are relatively rare diseases, an online community dealing with the disease would
give greater opportunity for them to find information on new treatment, doctors, and or
just to talk to someone who would understand what they are going through. It is
expected that the level of identification would be very high for those people. This may
be true to other people who are involved in online communities for other purposes. The
selection of involving with online community is very personal and individualistic.
People choose their online communities according to their interests and needs. In that
case, people tend to show higher level of attachment and commitment to their own
decision. In fact, cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) well supports this
reasoning. According to cognitive dissonance theory, inconsistency among a person’s
beliefs, attitude and/ or behaviors causes psychological discomfort which induces
efforts to avoid or to reduce dissonance by changing belief, attitudes or behaviors so
they are perceived as consistent. The theory further explains that an individual, after his
or her choice, tries to reduce dissonance by viewing the choice he or she made as more
desirable and the rejected alternatives as less desirable. To maintain the obtained
consistency, the person selectively processes positive information regarding the choice
and expresses positive attitudes and behaviors reinforcing the desirability of their choice
(Harmon-Jones, 2002). The implication of the theory is that the resulting behaviors may
be greater attachment and commitment to the online community he or she chose to join
and more participation in the activities in the online community. As mentioned earlier,
freedom involved in choosing and participating in online community is expected to lead
greater level of community identification among members.


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