Theoretical conceptualization of online privacy-related decision making : Introducing the tripartite self-disclosure decision model
Self-disclosures on online social networks have received increased attention in the last two decades. Researchers from different disciplines investigated manifold influencing variables, and studies applied different theories to explain why many users share very sensitive and personal information despite potential risks and negative consequences, whereas others do not. Oftentimes, it is argued that self-disclosure decisions result from a kind of rational "calculus" of risks and benefits. However, such an assumption of rationality can and has been criticized. Nevertheless, fundamental cognitive and affective mechanisms that underlie self-disclosure decision making on social networks are still under-explored. By building upon previous self-disclosure theories and models, dual-and tripartite-system perspectives of decision making, and former empirical findings, we propose a Tripartite Self-Disclosure Decision (TSDD) model that conceptualizes inner processes of online self-disclosure decision making. Central to this model is the proposed interaction of three neural and cognitive/affective systems: a reflective, an impulsive, and an interoceptive system. We further highlight individual and environmental features, which can impact individuals' online self-disclosure decisions by (interactively) influencing the proposed inner decision-making processes targeting the aforementioned three systems. Possible short- and long-term consequences are also discussed, which in turn can affect certain model components in subsequent self-disclosure decision situations. By taking such a neurocognitive perspective, we expand current research and models, which helps to better understand potentially risky information sharing on online social networks and can support attempts to prevent users from incautious self-disclosures.