Faculty Talk: Nazanin Andalibi

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

Self-Disclosures, Responses, and Social Support Exchange in Socially Stigmatized Contexts on Social Media 


Social media platforms are often celebrated for their capacity to connect; yet disclosing information about oneself and exchanging support on these platforms can be daunting when people experience distress or adversity. In some cases, challenging personal experiences involve stigma and can be prohibitively painful to share with even the closest of friends. I investigate social media’s use and roles in relation to self-disclosure, social support exchange, and other responses and outcomes associated with self-disclosure. I concentrate on forms of human suffering that can be isolating and lead to distress, such as abuse, mental illness, and pregnancy loss – a pervasive reproductive health complication. In this talk, I discuss three contributions I have made in my research: (1) a Disclosure Decision-Making Framework explaining stigmatized disclosures and support seeking on social media, (2) an examination of indirect disclosure strategies and motivations in stigmatized contexts on social media, and (3) a Response Decision-Making Framework explaining support provision and engaging with stigmatized disclosures on social media. I conclude by describing my ongoing and future research about social technologies in service of a more compassionate and inclusive world, where vulnerable individuals are more empowered and their wellbeing is enhanced. 

Note: This talk includes content about pregnancy loss. 

Speaker Bio

Nazanin Andalibi is a Research Fellow at University of Michigan School of Information, and affiliate faculty with the Digital Studies Institute. She earned her PhD in Information Studies at Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics during which she interned at Yahoo Research. Andalibi holds an M.S. in Socio-technical Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Computer Science from Sharif University of Technology. Her research and teaching interests are broadly in Social Computing, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Human-Computer Interaction, and Health Informatics. Andalibi’s work has been published in venues such as ACM CHI, CSCW, TOCHI, and New Media and Society, and featured by media outlets such as CNN and Huffington Post. Her generative research at Yahoo directly led to novel publicly launched communication technology products. Her publications have also received multiple Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards and she was the recipient of Drexel University’s Outstanding Promise Award. Drawing on mixed methods and multiple disciplines, Andalibi’s research addresses how we can design social computing systems that facilitate beneficial sensitive disclosures and enable desired disclosure outcomes such as supportive and meaningful interactions, reciprocal disclosures, and reduced stigma.

Lunch will be served at 11:45am.