Mechanisms of Social Benefits from Engagement with Online Live-Streaming: A Pilot Study
Presenter Name:Ilana Harris
School/Affiliation:Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Freie Universität Berlin
Musical Group Interaction (MGI) improves social cognitive capacities (Rabinowitch et al., 2013). New forms of group musical engagement occurring via online applications (e.g., collaborative playlist-making; Park & Kaneshiro, 2022) likely include constituent psychological processes of MGI (e.g., cognitive perspective-taking; Harris and Cross, 2021). Investigations of live-streamed concerts have highlighted certain streamer-viewer interactions that increase social connectedness (e.g., streamer playing viewers’ preferred music; Onderdijk et al., 2021). Technologically mediated interactive behaviors may also occur in non-concert settings, and include online chatting among viewers and joint remote listening (Sjöblom et al., 2016). In this pilot study, we aimed to identify interactive behaviors—occurring among viewers and between the streamer and viewers—and their associated psychological benefits. To do this, an exploratory online survey (N=55) was administered to members of existing gaming live streaming communities that engage in various interactive behaviors on two major live-streaming applications: Twitch and Discord. Results showed that when people initiate interactions with others, social connectedness with their live streaming community was significantly greater (P<0.001); an interaction effect between initiating interactions with others and others initiating interactions with oneself on social connectedness was also found (P<0.001). We plan to conduct a follow-up controlled experiment to evaluate the impact of online interactions in live-streaming communities on state loneliness and mood, focusing on the use of in-game versus viewer-selected music and the precursing interactions that mediate audio selection within the live-stream. These preliminary results suggest interactive music-based interventions could be effective at combating perceived social isolation in existing communities.