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Determinants of peer productivity in online discussion forums

LabKnowledge exchange
FundingIWM budget resources
Project description

Digital media that people use in their leisure time to exchange knowledge (e.g., online discussion forums, Twitter, Facebook) require active participation and peer productivity. Although productivity is important for self-sustaining communities, little is known about the conditions that drive productivity or how contributions can be optimized for efficient learning. The goal of this project is to examine what drives productivity in different online forums and sharing platforms.

Specifically, we examine the hypothesis that cognitive conflict is related to productivity within the forum and for learning more generally. Utilizing knowledge about the person’s attitudes and those contained within the post, we can examine how conflict relates to the perception and reaction to conflicting information. Results suggest that more cognitive conflict is related to both wanting to respond more and actually writing longer responses. From a psychological perspective, this result is very interesting because other online activities (e.g., searching for information) can be characterized by an avoidance of conflicting information.


Buttliere, B., & Buder, J. (2017). Reading more vs. writing back: Situation affordances drive reactions to conflicting information on the Internet. Computers in Human Behavior, 74, 330-336. request document

Buder, J., Schwind, C., Rudat, A., & Bodemer, D. (2015). Selective reading of large online forum discussions: The impact of rating visualizations on navigation and learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 191-201.

Rudat, A., & Buder, J. (2015). Making retweeting social: The influence of content and context information on sharing news in Twitter. Computers in Human Behavior, 46, 75-84.


Dr. Jürgen Buder Dr. Jürgen Buder
Tel.: +49 7071 979-326