The Psychology of Sharing

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Every day millions of people share online. There has been an abundance of research on how people share online, but why do they share?

The Psychology of Sharing, a study recently released by The New York Times Customer Insight and Advertising Groups, used ethnographies and quantitative surveys of 2,500 medium-to-heavy online sharers to uncover the primary motivations for sharing, identify six sharing personas and outline essential steps for marketers aiming to get their content shared.

Key findings included:

  • With more content, more sources and more people to share with, many users find sharing is a useful way of managing information. 85% of respondents said that reading other people's responses helps them understand and process information and events. 73% said they process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully when they share it.
  • In each of the five motivations identified in the research, sharing is prompted by the relationships users have with one another. Therefore, marketers should be focused on providing content that enhances consumers' relationships with one another.
  • In the age of social media, e-mail still dominates as the preferred method for sharing online.

In the coming months, additional insights will be available for sharing around several specific content categories, including travel, technology and entertainment. Join Brian Brett, Customer Insights managing director of The New York Times on September 21st to hear more information about the Psychology of Sharing study or for more information contact him directly:

Webinars are for ANA Members Only. If you are a non-member, client-side marketer interested in attending a specific session, please email to request a one-time, complimentary guest registration.

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Start: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 3:00pm

End: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 4:00pm



Brian Brett
Customer Insights Managing Director
The New York Times