Skip to main content
Cultural differences and switching of in-group sharing behavior between an American (Facebook) and a Chinese (Renren) social networking site
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Lin QIU, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Han LIN, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Angela K. Y. LEUNG, Singapore Management University
Publication Type
Journal Article
Publication Date

Prior research has documented cultural dimensions that broadly characterize between-culture variations in Western and East Asian societies and that bicultural individuals can flexibly change their behaviors in response to different cultural contexts. In this article, we studied cultural differences and behavioral switching in the context of the fast emerging, naturally occurring online social networking, using both self-report measures and content analyses of online activities on two highly popular platforms, Facebook and Renren (the “Facebook of China”). Results showed that while Renren and Facebook are two technically similar platforms, the Renren culture is perceived as more collectivistic than the Facebook culture. Furthermore, we presented evidence for the first time that users who are members of both online cultures flexibly switch and adapt their in-group sharing behaviors in response to the online community in which they are: They perform more benevolent in-group sharing when they participate in the Renren community and less so when they participate in the Facebook community. We discussed both the theoretical and methodological implications of the current research.

  • cultural psychology,
  • communication,
  • acculturation,
  • social networking,
  • crosscultural differences,
  • cultural frame switching,
  • Facebook
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Additional URL
Citation Information
Lin QIU, Han LIN and Angela K. Y. LEUNG. "Cultural differences and switching of in-group sharing behavior between an American (Facebook) and a Chinese (Renren) social networking site" Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology Vol. 44 Iss. 1 (2013) p. 106 - 121 ISSN: 0022-0221
Available at: