Am I Disclosing Too Much? Student Perceptions of Teacher Credibility via Facebook


  • Zuoming Wang University of North Texas
  • Hannah Novak University of North Texas
  • Heather Scofield-Snow University of North Texas
  • Sarah Traylor University of North Texas
  • YuanYuan Zhou University of North Texas


self-disclosure, Facebook, teacher credibility


This study examined the effects of teacher self-disclosure via Facebook on perceived teacher credibility. Undergraduate students (N=92) were randomly assigned to view one of the eight versions of the Facebook webpage of a teacher (either male or female) that involved two types of self-disclosure: images of alcohol drinking, and a narrative with emotionally-loaded language. The credibility ratings of the teacher indicated that revealing information about alcohol consumption and emotional problems concerning a personal relationship negatively influence student perception of teacher credibility. However, several gender differences emerged, indicating that an inherent bias exists in perceptions of credibility and appropriate self-disclosure. Specifically, male teachers were perceived more credible than female teachers in general. Moreover, the emotionally-loaded self-disclosure did not influence the female teacher's credibility, but did reduce the male teacher’s credibility. Credibility was also influenced by the physical attractiveness of the teacher and the belief whether it is acceptable for a teacher to have Facebook profile. 

Author Biography

Zuoming Wang, University of North Texas

Dr. Zuoming Wang (Ph.D., Cornell University) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Studies, University of North Texas. Her research interests are new media and communication technology, especially on how the social media influence human communicative behavior, such as impression formation and the construction and transformation of identity in online communities.


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