Takemura & Suzuki (2015)

Takemura, K.(竹村幸祐), & Suzuki, S (2015).
Self-expression and relationship formation in high relational mobility environments: A study of dual users of American and Japanese social networking sites.
International Journal of Psychology.
doi: 10.1002/ijop.12208
This study proposes that self-expression motivation, an aspect of independent/individualistic psychological tendencies, aids in the formation of social relationships when social relationships are open and mobile. In societies characterised by high relational mobility (e.g., North America), which creates market-like competition in social relationships, individuals must express their uniqueness and worthiness to form new social relationships. Self-expression motivation has a relatively weak effect on relationship formation in low relational mobility societies (e.g., Japan), where social relationships are generally predetermined. This hypothesis was examined and supported through a study on dual users of two social networking sites—Facebook and Mixi (the “Facebook of Japan”). As expected, relational mobility was higher on Facebook than on Mixi. Moreover, the association between self-expression motivation and the number of new friends met on Facebook/Mixi was more positive for Facebook than it was for Mixi. The social functionality of independent tendencies is then discussed.