Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Adam Smiley

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


While an overwhelming majority of teens still spend time with their friends in person at least occasionally, people have become increasingly reliant on technology for communication and maintaining feelings of social connectedness. Social connectedness is a sense of belonging to an individual or group characterized by satisfaction, perceived level of support, and opportunities for self-disclosure within a particular relationship context. There is consistent evidence that online communication does not foster the same degree of closeness as offline interactions, largely due to the lack of indirect forms of communication like non-verbal cues and tone of voice (Scott et al., 2022a). Offline relationships encourage deeper self-disclosure and allow both parties to utilize indirect forms of communication like non-verbal cues to better communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas (Scott et al., 2022a). However, there is also evidence that paired online and offline communication can facilitate even stronger relationships than one centered around one relationship context (Winstone et al., 2021). In this study, we will be surveying approximately 60 students enrolled in one of the Fall 2022 sections of Belmont University’s PSY1200 Introduction to Psychological Science course. Participants will complete the Inclusion of Others in the Self Scale (IOS) Scale to assess feelings of closeness and connection to friends in three different relationship contexts: online, in-person, and mixed-mode (both online and in-person) (Aron, et al., 1992). We hypothesize that participants will feel the highest level of connectedness in their mixed-mode platonic relationship. We are currently collecting data and results will be presented at SURS.



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