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A Three-way Interaction Model of Information Withholding: Investigating the Role of Information Sensitivity, Prevention Focus, and Interdependent Self-Construal


Although user information disclosure behavior in the context of social network service(SNS) has been well studied in previous literature, there is a lack of understanding about user information withholding behavior. To fill this research gap, the present study assumes that there might be a three-way interaction among information sensitivity, prevention focus, and interdependent self-construal regarding information withholding. The proposed model is empirically tested through an online survey of 479 users in the context of WeChat, one of the most popular SNSs in China. The results of hierarchical regression analysis verify the three-way interaction that prevention focus positively moderates the relationship between information sensitivity and information withholding, and interdependent self-construal strengthens the moderating effect of prevention focus. Findings in light of theoretical and practical implications as well as limitations of the study are discussed.

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