This research explores the efficacy of knowledge sharing in online communities and emphasizes the role of empathy and trust in shaping social interactions. It presents three studies that examine the impact of emotional distress and empathy on knowledge sharing, the determination of effort in knowledge sharing, and the emergence of interpersonal trust in social messaging groups, using multiple theories from social psychology. The data is collected from the logs of an online forum on Reddit, a social messaging group on Wechat, and a survey. This research contributes to the literature on empathy and the theory of emotion as social information as well as self-determination theory. Additionally, it introduces and integrates multiple computational linguistic techniques to measure emotions and social relationships. Overall, it deepens the understanding of the micro-foundations of knowledge exchange in online communities and offers practical implications for building and managing such communities.
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Thesis advisor: Soh, Pek-Hooi
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