Social Media Users’ Reaction to Overgeneralization


Kuznetsova Y.


Social networks have become a space for meeting a wide variety ofhuman needs, but involvement in online communication can have contradictory consequences. This paper examines a communicative disharmony that arises as a result of the use of overgeneralization speech tactics during network discussions aimed at obtaining and providing information and emotional support in difficult life situations. The disharmony is caused by the manifestation of the manipulative nature of overgeneralization, used as a means of “parent” situational dominance in coping communication. The conducted pilot study demonstrates the possibility to identify statements with overgeneralization formal features in online discussions. The analysis of responses to overgeneralization comments showed that the most common reactions are ignoring and confrontation. Emotionally, negative reactions aggressive in nature prevail. Thus, overgeneralization leaves a negative affect and conflict as a mark in online-coping communication. Rejection from the addressees is probably caused by the unsuitability of overgeneralization for the requested real informational or emotional support in online-coping. For the addresser, the overgeneralization speech tactics seems to be rather ineffective, since it does not provide desired situational dominance.

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Kuznetsova Y. M. Social Media Users’ Reaction to Overgeneralization // Digital Humanities and Technology in Education (DHTE 2023): Collection of Articles of the IV International Scientific and Practical Conference. November 16–17, 2023 / V.V. Rubtsov, M.G. Sorokova, N.P. Radchikova (Eds). Moscow: Publishing house MSUPE, 2023. 492–504 p. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.)