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Facebook and self-perception: Individual susceptibility to negative social comparison on Facebook

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Abstract

Social network sites such as Facebook give off the impression that others are doing better than we are. As a result, the use of these sites may lead to negative social comparison (i.e., feeling like others are doing better than oneself). According to social comparison theory, such negative social comparisons are detrimental to perceptions about the self. The current study therefore investigated the indirect relationship between Facebook use and self-perceptions through negative social comparison. Because happier people process social information differently than unhappier people, we also investigated whether the relationship between Facebook use and social comparison and, as a result, self-perception, differs depending on the degree of happiness of the emerging adult. A survey among 231 emerging adults (age 18–25) showed that Facebook use was related to a greater degree of negative social comparison, which was in turn related negatively to self-perceived social competence and physical attractiveness. The indirect relationship between Facebook use and self-perception through negative social comparison was attenuated among happier individuals, as the relationship between Facebook use and negative social comparison was weaker among happier individuals. SNS use was thus negatively related to self-perception through negative social comparison, especially among unhappy individuals.

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... Indeed, a number of studies point to associations between Facebook use, upward comparisons, and negative outcomes. Heavy users, in contrast to infrequent users, are more likely to agree that others are happier, have better lives, and are doing better (Chou & Edge, 2012;de Vries & Kühne, 2015). Furthermore, making more upward Facebook comparisons has been associated with negative self-perceptions of one's own social competence and attractiveness, increased depressive symptoms, and lower overall well-being (Appel, Crusius, & Gerlach, 2015;de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Fardouly & Vartanian, 2015;Feinstein et al., 2013;Gerson, Plagnol, & Corr, 2016;Liu et al., 2017;Steers, Wickham, & Acitelli, 2014;Tandoc et al., 2015;Vogel et al., 2014;Wang, Wang, Gaskin, & Hawk, 2017). ...
... Heavy users, in contrast to infrequent users, are more likely to agree that others are happier, have better lives, and are doing better (Chou & Edge, 2012;de Vries & Kühne, 2015). Furthermore, making more upward Facebook comparisons has been associated with negative self-perceptions of one's own social competence and attractiveness, increased depressive symptoms, and lower overall well-being (Appel, Crusius, & Gerlach, 2015;de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Fardouly & Vartanian, 2015;Feinstein et al., 2013;Gerson, Plagnol, & Corr, 2016;Liu et al., 2017;Steers, Wickham, & Acitelli, 2014;Tandoc et al., 2015;Vogel et al., 2014;Wang, Wang, Gaskin, & Hawk, 2017). These negative effects, moreover, seem especially pronounced for low self-esteem individuals (Cramer, Song, & Drent, 2016;Jang, Park, & Song, 2016). ...
... Additionally, we demonstrated that, for any given individual, spending more time on social media was associated with making more social comparisons. This within-person finding is significant because although previous studies have demonstrated associations between time spent on social media and global, retrospective reports of comparison frequency (e.g., de Vries & Kühne, 2015), it was previously unclear whether this finding was because of the possibility that people who report making more comparisons also spend more time on social media. In this study, we show that, regardless of whether an individual spends more or less time on social media compared with other people, when that individual spends more time on social media, relative to her or his other daily activities, comparisons are more likely. ...
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Although past research has shown that social comparisons made through social media contribute to negative outcomes, little is known about the nature of these comparisons (domains, direction, and extremity), variables that determine comparison outcomes (post valence, perceiver's self-esteem), and how these comparisons differ from those made in other contexts (e.g., text messages, face-to-face interactions). In 4 studies (N = 798), we provide the first comprehensive analysis of how individuals make and respond to social comparisons on social media, using comparisons made in real-time while browsing news feeds (Study 1), experimenter-generated comparisons (Study 2), and comparisons made on social media versus in other contexts (Studies 3 and 4). More frequent and more extreme upward comparisons resulted in immediate declines in self-evaluations as well as cumulative negative effects on individuals' state self-esteem, mood, and life satisfaction after a social media browsing session. Moreover, downward and lateral comparisons occurred less frequently and did little to mitigate upward comparisons' negative effects. Furthermore, low self-esteem individuals were particularly vulnerable to making more frequent and more extreme upward comparisons on social media, which in turn threatened their already-lower self-evaluations. Finally, social media comparisons resulted in greater declines in self-evaluations than those made in other contexts. Together, these studies provide the first insights into the cumulative impact of multiple comparisons, clarify the role of self-esteem in online comparison processes, and demonstrate how the characteristics and impact of comparisons on social media differ from those made in other contexts. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... The influence of social media on self-esteem in relation to social comparison has been the subject of many studies over the years (Jan et al., 2017;de Vries & Kühne, 2015). However, the pandemic has brought about new implications by imposing enormous restrictions on social movement and limiting socialisation across the world, leading to greater social media activities (Vall-Roqué et al., 2020). ...
... However, the ANOVA test results generated a relatively high p-value, indicating little significance in the relationship between those who spent more time on Instagram to make more social comparisons and those who did not, thus refuting the hypothesis. This finding is contrary to the findings of similar research in the past associating frequent Instagram usage with a higher level of social comparison (see de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Jiang & Ngien, 2020). Their findings are based on the premise that the features ease strategic crafting of positive self-presentation which triggers inclination towards social comparison through continuous exposure to the idealised presentation of others' lives through photos, videos, and others (Hwang, 2019). ...
Article
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This study investigates the relationship between Instagram usage, social comparison, and self-esteem among young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is given the prevalence of virtual socialization due to remote learning. A survey participated by 200 young adults studying in Malaysian universities was carried out. Results demonstrated active engagement on Instagram. However, the direct relationships between Instagram usage, social comparison, and self-esteem were inconsequential. Hence, no significant differences between those using Instagram frequently and those who did not were found. Yet, the study observed considerably low self-esteem among the respondents and an active tendency to make social comparisons while using Instagram during the social restriction period caused by the pandemic.
... Upward social comparison, on the other hand, involves comparison with 'superior' others, and leads to the individual finding a discrepancy between the self and the comparison standard. This is also sometimes referred to as negative social comparisons (e.g. de Vries and Kühne, 2015). These negative comparisons are thought to motivate the individual to change to be more like the comparison standard and therefore improve the self (Higgins, 1987;Wood, 1989). ...
... Appel et al., 2016;Chou and Edge, 2012). Evidence suggests that amongst young adults in particular, more intense use of SNSs is related to more frequent negative social comparisons (e.g. de Vries and Kühne, 2015;Lee, 2014) and in the wider population findings suggest that social comparison mediates the impact of social media use on depression, envy and low self-esteem (e.g. Appel et al., 2016;Steers et al., 2014). ...
Article
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Young adults are frequent users of social media, but the help and hindrance of social media for living well with long-term conditions (LTCs) in young adulthood is little-researched. The aim of this paper was to explore the experiences of social media use amongst young adults with LTCs. Interviews with 15 young adults with LTCs explored their experiences of using social media more broadly and in relation to online health communities. Social media came with both ‘good and bad sides’ which required a balancing act to manage (overarching theme), as reflected in the following subthemes: (1) Relationships: reducing social isolation versus need for face-to-face contact; (2) Comparisons: normalising versus negative (upward) comparisons; (3) Community: fitting in versus feeling left out; (4) Emotions: inspiring versus distress contagion; and (5) Knowledge: exchanging useful information versus fear of decline. The findings highlight the importance of young adults’ self-reflection/awareness of social media’s impact on their wellbeing, identifying when limited or increased use may be preferable. Whilst there is a ‘good’ to social media such as increased feelings of belonging and connection, this should not be the sole focus of future self-management interventions; as its use also contributes to feelings of distress, fear and not fitting in, and participants desire face-to-face contact.
... Self-esteem is also potentially related to behavioral addictions related to the Internet [37]. It was found that low self-esteem was related to Internet addiction [37], to the use of Facebook [45], and to the use of SN [9,37,43]. ...
... Accordingly, our results showed that the scores on the SNAddS-6S (or on the different factors) were higher, the more they were dissatisfied with life. Finally, the relation with self-esteem was also coherent with previous research [9,37,43,45], and the more individuals were addicted to the Internet and SN, the lower their self-esteem levels. ...
Article
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The use of social networks has increased exponentially, especially among youth. These tools offer many advantages but also carry some risks such as addiction. This points to the need for a valid multifactorial instrument to measure social network addiction, focusing on the core components of addiction that can serve researchers and practitioners. This study set out to validate a reliable multidimensional social network addiction scale based on the six core components of addiction (SNAddS-6S) by using and adapting the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale. A total of 369 users of social networks completed a questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were performed, and different competing models were explored. The external validity of the scale was tested across its relations with different measures. Evidence for the validity and reliability of both the multidimensional SNAddS-6S and the unidimensional Short SNAddS-6S was provided. The SNAddS-6S was composed of 18 items and five different factors (time-management, mood modification, relapse, withdrawal, and conflict), with the time-management factor as a higher-order factor integrated by salience and tolerance as sub-factors. The Short SNAddS-6S was composed of six items and a unifactorial structure. This scale could be of relevance for researchers and practitioners to assess the extent to which individuals suffer from social network addiction and to study the potential predictors and risks of such addiction.
... These are severely confounded with theoretically relevant variables. Longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys have used trait comparison tendencies (Cramer et al., 2016;Hanna et al., 2017;Jang et al., 2016;Ozimek & Bierhoff, 2016;Stapleton et al., 2017), emotional responses to social comparisons (de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Feinstein et al., 2013;Frison & Eggermont, 2016;Gerson et al., 2016;Lup et al., 2015;Steers et al., 2014), pluralistic ignorance (Appel et al., 2015), and social media general usage (Chou & Edge, 2012;Tromholt, 2016) as proxies for measuring social comparison. Likewise, experimental designs have used forced stimuli exposure (Haferkamp & Krämer, 2011;Liu et al., 2016) or behavioral measures of stimuli exposure (Johnson & Knobloch-Westerwick, 2014 rather than measures of social comparative thought. ...
... With regard to upward social comparison on Facebook and other social media, previous studies have indicated that it was negatively associated with positive emotional responses to the comparisons (Lee, 2014), positive affect (Chae, 2018;de Vries et al., 2018;Haferkamp & Krämer, 2011;Verduyn et al., 2015), and state selfesteem (de Vries & Kühne, 2015), and was positively associated with negative affect (Brown & Tiggemann, 2016). ...
Article
Computer-mediated social comparisons have been identified as a threat to psychological well-being. Because online friends selectively self-present, social comparisons may be biased upward, producing feelings of inadequacy. However, earlier evidence consistently confounded social comparative thoughts with causes or outcomes. A cross-sectional survey (N = 163) tested how traits, motivations, selectivity, and mood management influence computer-mediated downward and upward social comparison, and how comparison influences affect, self-esteem, and peer misperceptions. Results indicated age, social comparison orientation, mood modification, selectivity, and Facebook intensity produced social comparisons. Younger, frequent users made more upward comparisons, while mood modifiers made more downward comparisons. Comparing upward boosted negative affect, harmed self-esteem, and produced pluralistic ignorance. Downward comparisons enhanced self-esteem and reduced pluralistic ignorance about offline friends.
... A study indicated that participants who have a more upward social comparison on Facebook could have lower self-esteem (Vogel et al., 2014). Similarly, another study showed that there could be a positive relationship between Facebook usage and negative social comparison levels (de Vries & Kühne, 2015). In the Johnson and Knobloch-Westerwich (2014) study, the participants in negative mood arranged their moods by making more downward social comparisons. ...
... The social comparison process consists of both downward social comparison and upward social comparison. When people tend to make upward social comparison on social media, their self-esteem and general belongingness levels could be damaged by an upward social comparison process (Bäzner et al., 2006;de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Vogel et al., 2014). Contrary to these expectations and the current results, a tendency to make downward social comparison on social media might affect individuals' self-esteem and general belongingness in a positive way (Brown et al., 2007;Yang, 2016). ...
Article
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Social media addiction (SM) is a widespread and severe problem in today's world. It is associated with both self-esteem (SE) and general belongingness (GB). There are many studies related to these associations in the literature , but in this research an attempt was made to explain this mechanism based on social comparison theory. The aim of this study is to examine the indirect effect of social comparison (SC) on the relationship among SM, SE, and GB.The sample consisted of 311 university students studying at a state university in Turkey. Data were gathered by using a demographic information form, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the General Belongingness Scale, the Social Comparison Scale, and the Social Media Addiction Scale-Student Form. The mediator effect of SC was determined via structural equation modelling. The results indicate that SC has an indirect effect on the relation between SM and SE. Similarly, SC has an indirect effect on the relation between SM and GB. People tend to compare themselves with other individuals, and this SC process can be made very easily and quickly via social media tools. Moreover, social media sites offer plenty of opportunities for SC, and this comparison consists of sometimes upward SC and sometimes downward SC processes. Downward and upward SC processes can regulate individuals' emotions, SE, and GB levels in social media either in a negative or positive way. The mediating role of SC in the relationship between SM, SE, and GB can be examined in terms of these upward and downward SC processes. key words social media addiction; social comparison; downward social comparison; self-esteem; belongingness
... Additionally, research has indicated that if one uses social media to compare themselves against those seen as being "higher up" or better off, then their use of social media can become a serious problem (Robinson, Bonnette, Howard, Ceballos, Dailey, & Lu, 2018). Existing literature has demonstrated that, due to the numerous opportunities that SNSs allow users to make upward social comparison between themselves and the people they follow on SNSs, individuals become caught up in social medial overuse (Appel, Gerlach, & Crusius, 2016;De Vries & Kühne, 2015;Lee, 2014;Schmuck, Karsay, Matthes, & Stevic, 2019;Vogel, Rose, Roberts, & Eckles, 2014). Furthermore, according to the compensatory internet use theory, individuals alleviate their negative moods through online activities, which in turn can lead them to internet addiction (Kardefelt-Winther, 2014). ...
... However, their positive self-presentations on He, et al. Children and Youth Services Review 116 (2020) 105232 SNSs may lead individuals to believe that others live a better or happier life, which can trigger sense of inferiority, decrease self-esteem and contribute to perceived stress (De Vries & Kühne, 2015;Liu et al., 2017;Zhi & Zhang, 2012). Additionally, perceived stress is a potential inducing factor for the development of excessive smartphone use behavior. ...
Article
The current study attempted to explain the association between upward social comparison on social networking sites (SNSs) and excessive smartphone use by investigating the potential mediating role of perceived stress and the moderating role of resilience on individuals. A sample of 668 (Mage = 20.05 years, SD = 1.38) Chinese college students completed measures on upward social comparison on SNSs, perceived stress, psychological resilience, and excessive smartphone use. Results revealed that perceived stress partially mediated the association between upward social comparison and excessive smartphone use, and psychological resilience moderated the second stage of the mediation process. Our study contributes to better understanding the underlying mechanism through which upward social comparison on SNSs increases the risk of excessive smartphone use and provides a new perspective on how to intervene those with excessive smartphone use.
... Moreover, passively browsing social media increases the likelihood of exposure to information shared by peers. Social Comparison Theory (Festinger, 1954) suggests that this process can facilitate upward social comparisons, which, in turn, may decrease an individual's self-evaluation by eliciting feelings of -inferiority‖ (de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Fardouly et al., 2015;Midgley et al., 2020). In particular, frequent exposure to other users' idealized images and self-presentations make it more likely to perceive a discrepancy between their real and their ideal self (Haferkamp & Krämer, 2011), and thereby experiencing negative mood (Fardouly et al., 2015). ...
... In result, they would perceive more discrepancies between themselves and others, which, in turn could make them feel even more dissatisfied with their lives (Fardouly et al., 2015;Tandoc et al., 2015). On the other hand, the more positive self-perceptions of individuals with higher self-esteem and life satisfaction may facilitate online social comparisons in a more favorable way for themselves or compare themselves more often with others who are doing less well (de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Niu et al., 2018). In that case, individuals who score higher on self-esteem and life satisfaction seem less likely to be affected by the negative impact of passive SNS use. ...
Article
s Passively browsing other's content on social networking sites (SNS) is popular among young females. It remains unclear how passive use relates to female's negative emotions, and especially whether short-term associations are confined by individual differences. This study used ecological momentary assessment over the course of one week to examine the associations between passive use of SNS and negative emotions, and investigated whether individual differences (i.e., self-esteem and life satisfaction) would moderate this relationship. A sample of N = 99 Chinese female undergraduates (Mage = 18.81, SDage = 0.84) completed a baseline online survey on self-esteem and life satisfaction, and received a daily online survey about their Qzone use as well as their negative emotions for seven days. Multilevel modeling revealed that passively browsing Qzone on a given day was associated with less negative emotions. However, the within-person association was independent of self-esteem and life satisfaction. Implications of passive SNS use are discussed especially regarding their potential to reduce negative feelings among Chinese young female undergraduate students, at least in the short term.
... Existing literature on social comparison has identified two opposing types of consequences from upward social comparison. On the one hand, when individuals compare themselves with others who are better than themselves, they will feel inferior about themselves (de Vries & Kühne, 2015), leading to some negative emotions or outcomes, such as depression (Li, 2018), mental health damage (Jang et al., 2016). On the other hand, upward social comparison can also bring positive benefits, such as enhancing job performance (Cadsby et al., 2019) or eliciting inspiration on SNSs (Meier & Schäfer, 2018). ...
... On the other hand, upward social comparison can also bring positive benefits, such as enhancing job performance (Cadsby et al., 2019) or eliciting inspiration on SNSs (Meier & Schäfer, 2018). Notably, some scholars have recently paid much attention to a common post-comparison emotion on SNSs, namely envy (Ahn et al., 2021;de Vries & Kühne, 2015), which is defined as a painful experience when facing the good fortune of others (Tai et al., 2012). In general, there are two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy (Smith & Kim, 2007). ...
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The pervasiveness of image-sharing social commerce platforms has led to renewed interest in the topic of online impulse buying. These platforms possess unique characteristics that facilitate both social comparison and impulse buying behavior. However, little research has explored the relationship between upward social comparison and impulse buying in the context of image-oriented social commerce. Moreover, little is known about the underlying mechanism mediating and moderating this association. Drawing on social comparison theory, this study developed and examined a moderated mediation model which integrates upward social comparison, impulse buying, benign envy, and self-esteem to address this gap. The data was collected from 318 university students in Vietnam and analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results reveal that upward social comparison directly stimulates adolescents' impulse buying behavior, and benign envy mediates this relationship. Interestingly, self-esteem moderates the effects of upward social comparison and benign envy on impulse buying, respectively. This study provides researchers with a new approach to explain online impulse buying on social commerce platforms. In addition, our findings can serve as a reference for businesses and marketers to implement concerted strategies that encourage consumers to purchase impulsively on image-sharing social commerce platforms.
... This instability in results is maybe due to the measurement 28 instrument used for social comparison. The used scale explicitly asks about comparisons made with regard to one's life circumstances (de Vries & Kühne, 2015). Because of this reference to personal attributes, it may be that this scale did not so consistently relate to exposure to attractive appearances and thus had an insignificant link with the long factor of the latter concept. ...
Article
The present study conceptualized and developed new measurement instruments to assess adolescents’ a) exposure to, b) liking, and c) posting of positive content on social media. By means of an integrative review of the literature, six focus groups and 14 in-depth interviews, 19 items were developed for each scale. Based on a cross-sectional study among 294 adolescents, EFA and CFA extracted two valid and reliable factors for exposure to positive social media content, one valid and reliable factor for liking positive social media content, and three valid and reliable factors for posting positive social media content. A short version of these three (multifactorial) scales was created and administered in a two-wave panel study among 1419 adolescents and in a cross-sectional study among 493 late adolescents. Test–retest reliability, structural validity, construct validity, and full metric invariance across age and gender were established for all short scales, except for the posting scale for which only partial metric invariance was achieved across gender.
... However, this triggers a mechanism where their positive self-esteem depends on their degree of popularity on social networking sites. Self-beliefs about being worse than others among FB over-users are often explained by a downward social comparison that causes negative feelings about the users themselves and a negative perception of their competence and attractiveness [14,15]. According to the literature, self-esteem is related to Facebook dependency because people compensate for their difficulties in real life social relations when using social media [8]. ...
Article
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Most previous research has examined the relationship between FB addiction and burnout level by conducting cross-sectional studies. Little is known about the impact of changes in burnout on FB addiction in an educational context. Through a two-way longitudinal survey of a student population sample (N = 115), this study examined the influence of changes in academic burnout over time and FB motives and importance (measured at the beginning and the end of the semester) on FB intrusion measured at the end of the academic semester. The findings show that: (1) increases in cynicism and in FB motives and importance significantly predicted time2 FB intrusion; (2) FB importance enhanced the prediction power of changes in the academic burnout total score, exhaustion and personal inefficacy, and reduced the regression coefficient of changes in cynicism; (3) the interaction effects between FB social motive use and changes in academic burnout, as well as between FB importance and personal inefficacy and exhaustion, accounted for a significant change in the explained variance of time2 FB intrusion. About 20–30% of the variance in time2 FB intrusion was explained by all the examined variables and by the interactions between them. The results suggest that changes in academic burnout and FB motives and importance are suppressive variables, as including these variables in the regression model all together changed the significance of the relationship between independent variables and FB intrusion.
... Certain kinds of upward social comparisons are more harmful than others (e.g., focusing on others' abilities vs opinions [65]). Moreover, as the heterogeneity of the effect characterizing the large, multicountry study of social comparisons that we just described suggests (roughly three-quarters of the sample did not compare themselves with others in a way that made them feel bad), some people are more vulnerable to the negative effects of social media comparison then others (i.e., people who are depressed or overly prone to engaging in social comparisons [64,[66][67][68][69]). These exceptions notwithstanding, converging evidence highlights how engaging in social comparisons on social media undermines well-being [70]. ...
Article
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Within a relatively short time span, social media have transformed the way humans interact, leading many to wonder what, if any, implications this interactive revolution has had for people’s emotional lives. Over the past 15 years, an explosion of research has examined this issue, generating countless studies and heated debate. Although early research generated inconclusive findings, several experiments have revealed small negative effects of social media use on well-being. These results mask, however, a deeper set of complexities. Accumulating evidence indicates that social media can enhance or diminish well-being depending on how people use them. Future research is needed to model these complexities using stronger methods to advance knowledge in this domain.
... Especially when reflected peer-opinions are more integrated into the self-concept, this could lead to a less positive self-concept. Other research already demonstrated that upwards social comparisons lead to lower global self-esteem (Vogel et al., 2014) and physical self-esteem (De Vries and Kühne, 2015), with some indications that these effects may be stronger for female participants (Vogel et al., 2014). A parallel process of upwards comparison might play a role in academic self-concept, but increased time on social media might also distract from schoolwork, which may in turn affect academic performance and self-concept. ...
Article
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We investigated behavioral and neural mechanisms in the relation between social media use (SMU) and self-concept, as well as longitudinal developmental outcomes. Adolescents and young adults (N = 150, 11–21 years old at T1) rated themselves on 60 traits in the academic, physical and prosocial domain, and also indicated how they thought peers would judge them (reflected-peer-judgements). Longitudinal questionnaires (1- and 2-year follow-up) were collected to assess positive (prosocial behavior, self-concept clarity) and negative (clinical symptoms) long-term outcomes. Results indicated that heavier self-reported SMU was linked with lower difference scores between self-judgements and reflected-peer-judgements. Lower SMU was related to more positive ratings from self-judgements vs. reflected-peer-judgements. SMU was also associated with less positive self-concept, particularly in the academic domain (boys and girls) and physical domain (girls). Neurally, increased SMU was linked to heightened mPFC-activity during self-judgements compared to reflected-peer-judgements, and increased activity during physical compared to academic and prosocial self-judgements. Longitudinal analyses indicated no evidence for long-term effects of social media use, self/reflected-peer-difference scores and mPFC-activity on clinical symptoms, prosocial behavior or self-concept clarity. This study highlights the complex relationship between social media use and wellbeing and future research is needed to confirm the lack of long-term effects.
... These findings corroborate prior research that has demonstrated low self-perceptions and selfworth is associated with susceptibility of making social comparisons among female emerging adults/college students. 34,35 However, no differences were reported on self-perceptions between the usually and never making social comparison groups. Adolescent health is shaped by the complex interactions of risk factors such as substance use, protective factors, and proximal social determinants of health such as peer connectedness. ...
Article
BACKGROUND We assessed whether self‐descriptions, self‐perceptions, perceived substance use of friends, and actual substance use were associated with high school girls' frequency of making social comparisons to peers. METHODS We analyzed data from the Adolescent Health Risk Behavior Survey data for 357 high school girls using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS Compared to those who “never/rarely” made social comparisons, participants who self‐described as fearing something constantly (p = .014) and forced to imitate the people they like (p = .009) were more likely to “usually” compare themselves to peers. Participants who described themselves as feeling forced to imitate the people they like (p = .022), were not the person they would like to be (p = .005), and did not remain calm under pressure (p = .010), were more likely to “often/always” make social comparisons. Participants who perceived themselves as unattractive (p = .034) and self‐centered (p = .016) were more likely to “often/always” make social comparisons. Participants who perceived a larger proportion of friends use illicit drugs were less likely to “usually” make social comparisons (p = .027). Participants who perceived a larger proportion of friends drink alcohol were more likely to “often/always” make social comparisons (p = .018). CONCLUSIONS Girls who perceive and describe themselves more negatively are at increased odds of making social comparisons to peers.
... [16] Social comparison, in general, leads to poor self-esteem and unhappiness and life dissatisfaction. [17][18][19][20] Our study has shown a similar association between social comparison and SNS use. ...
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Background: Social networking sites (SNSs) have become an indispensable part of young adults in India. The content on one's profile and that of others on social media makes social comparison easier among young adults leading to poor mental health and life dissatisfaction. Aims: To assess the relationship between the pattern of SNS use among young adults and depression, anxiety, and social comparison. Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional study among medical students done using a questionnaire consisting of pattern of SNS use and scales for social comparison, depression, and anxiety. Results: We collected data from 220 students (mean age 20.44 years). Impression management was associated with higher social comparison, depression, and anxiety scores. Social comparison had a significant correlation between depression and anxiety scores. Conclusion: A complex association exists between duration or time spent on SNS use and psychopathology.
... The main focus of this current study is to examine whether unconditional self-acceptance can explain the protective property of mattering on social comparison among undergraduate students in Malaysia. Social comparison tendency became our main context, because social comparison theory, suggested that it is our primary motive to learn and compare ourselves with those around us to define the self [1]; nevertheless, the current trend indicates that when university students have the tendency to compare themselves with others, in terms of academic achievement [2], physical appearance [3], or general life satisfaction [4], [5] they would likely to develop emotional difficulties and mental health issues, such as uncontrolled anger and depression [6], [7], especially if they lack of ability to accept themselves unconditionally. In other words, abilities to unconditionally accept oneself keep the levels of happiness and well-being, positive self-esteem and optimism, as well as protect individuals from depression and anxiety [8], [9]. ...
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span lang="EN-US">Previous studies suggested that university students who are not able to accept themselves tend to develop negative tendency to compare themselves with each other. This study aimed to investigate the role of unconditional self-acceptance (USA) in explaining the association between mattering and social comparison among Malaysian undergraduate students. Three hundred and seventy undergraduate students were recruited and asked to complete an online version of Unconditional Self-Acceptance questionnaire, Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure and University Mattering Scale. Data analysis was conducted by employing Bootstrap Method with 95% confidence interval and 5000 sampling. The result showed that USA partially mediated the relationship between mattering and social comparison. Mattering and USA were identified as robust protective factors of social comparison among university students.</span
... Finally, a growing body of empirical studies show that social comparison permeates an individual's responses to advertising (Richins, 1995;Gulas and McKeage, 2000) and involvement in social media (Fardouly et al., 2017). In both LME and CME, significant levels of social comparison are associated with negative psychological outcomes related to young people's involvement with these technologies (Manago et al., 2008;Myers and Crowther, 2009;de Vries and Kühne, 2015;Vogel et al., 2015;Fardouly et al., 2017). The emphasis on status attainment and competitive individualism that characterizes AC appears to have become prominent in young people' use of social media. ...
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With the transition toward densely populated and urbanized market-based cultures over the past 200 years, young people’s development has been conditioned by the ascendancy of highly competitive skills-based labor markets that demand new forms of embodied capital (e.g., education) for young people to succeed. Life-history analysis reveals parental shifts toward greater investment in fewer children so parents can invest more in their children’s embodied capital for them to compete successfully. Concomitantly, the evolution of market-based capitalism has been associated with the rise of extrinsic values such as individualism, materialism and status-seeking, which have intensified over the last 40–50 years in consumer economies. The dominance of extrinsic values is consequential: when young people show disproportionate extrinsic relative to intrinsic values there is increased risk for mental health problems and poorer well-being. This paper hypothesizes that, concomitant with the macro-cultural promotion of extrinsic values, young people in advanced capitalism (AC) are obliged to develop an identity that is market-driven and embedded in self-narratives of success, status, and enhanced self-image. The prominence of extrinsic values in AC are synergistic with neuro-maturational and stage-salient developments of adolescence and embodied in prominent market-driven criterion such as physical attractiveness, displays of wealth and material success, and high (educational and extra-curricular) achievements. Cultural transmission of market-driven criterion is facilitated by evolutionary tendencies in young people to learn from older, successful and prestigious individuals ( prestige bias ) and to copy their peers. The paper concludes with an integrated socio-ecological evolutionary account of market-driven identities in young people, while highlighting methodological challenges that arise when attempting to bridge macro-cultural and individual development.
... Which means that comparing oneself with others through SNS will not change their perception until they developed the sense of mattering and a positive self-evaluation. In line with that, Lee [30], as well as de Vries and Kuhne [72], which suggested that social comparisons alone was not a robust enough predictor of life satisfaction. Similarly, Wang and his colleagues [44], also suggested that social comparisons to affect life satisfaction, it would first have to affect the individuals" self-esteem. ...
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The overarching aim of this study is to explain how comparing self to others in social media might predict one’s sense of life satisfaction. In order to achieve that, we test the hypothesis that mattering and state self-esteem play a serial mediation that explains the link between social comparison in social media and life satisfaction. One hundred and forty-seven participants’ ages between 18 to 35 were recruited to participate in this research and were asked to fill up the Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure, General Mattering Scale, State Self-Esteem Scale and Riverside Life Satisfaction Scale questionnaires. Bias-free Bootstrap Method with 5000 sample has been conducted to analyze the relationship among the variables, and the results suggested that the overall model of the predictor significantly contributed to life satisfaction. Nevertheless, because social comparison did not predict the sense of mattering, serial mediation did not occur as per hypothesized. Our supplementary analyses indicated that state self-esteem fully mediated the contribution of mattering on life satisfaction. Implication, limitation and suggestions are discussed at the end of the paper.
... In real life this is less selective, due to there being no filter or selection process. On social media, people mainly chose to share positive and enhanced situations, which leads to a more negative self-perception when one compares their situation to the one shown on social media (de Vries & Kühne 2015). Gibbons and Buunk (1999) say, 5 "the desire to learn about the self through comparison with others is universal" (p. ...
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This is a publication of my master thesis. The study investigates the relationship between mindful social media use and burnout symptoms amongst millennials. A moderating effect of social comparison orientation is expected, so this will be examined too. A survey has been conducted among 346 millennials from all over the world. Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are described as the burnout generation and are said to be the generation that uses the most social media. It is interesting to explore the influence of mindful social media on burnout symptoms amongst them to be able to educate them and future generations on how to use social media to prevent burnout symptoms. A regression analysis and moderation analysis have been conducted to answer the research question: is there a relationship between mindful social media use and burnout symptoms amongst millennials, and what is the moderating role of social comparison orientation in this relationship? The results showed a significant relationship between mindful social media use and burnout symptoms. The moderating effect showed a non-significant result and is therefore not supported in the current study. This means that the data prove the influence of mindful social media use on burnout symptoms. However, the hypothesis that this influence is different for a person with a stronger tendency to compare oneself to another than for a person with a lower tendency is not supported in this study.
... When the nature of a comparison is competitive and the goal is to judge, such as in the case of social comparison of ability, the comparison is detrimental-it contributes to upward contrastive emotions (envy and depression) and thus lower life satisfaction (Park & Baek, 2018). This type of comparison is the focus in many social media studies, and is unsurprisingly associated with negative self-perception, depressive symptoms, and poor affective well-being (de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Feinstein et al., 2013;Weinstein, 2017). In such comparisons, comparison targets are viewed as competitors (Park & Baek, 2018), which induces envy and creates tension in young people's friendships (Chua & Chang, 2016). ...
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Social media use is almost ubiquitous among adolescents and emerging adults. Although much has been studied about the psychological implications of social media use, there is currently no integrative model in which multiple dimensions of social media are considered. The goal of this theoretical article is to introduce the Multidimensional Model of Social Media Use (MMSMU), which aims to provide a useful framework for researchers and practitioners to study and understand young people’s social media use in relation to their psychological well-being. The model attends to three major dimensions: activities performed on social media, motives for social media use, and communication partners connected through social media. We present empirical evidence showing whether each dimension is associated with better or poorer well-being and identify or propose mechanisms explaining the associations. Before concluding the article, we discuss clinical implications and possible ways to further expand the proposed model.
... A look at reviews and meta-analysis that summarized the primarily cross-sectional evidence suggests that studies documenting negative relationships outweigh those that found positive relationships (Huang, 2010;Steers, 2015). This finding may reflect that passive use of Internet applications is dominant (Escobar-Viera et al., 2018;Verduyn et al., 2015) or that processes that are detrimental to subjective well-being (negative feedback, upward comparisons, displacement of offline relationships) occur more frequently than processes that produce positive outcomes (positive feedback, building social capital, engage in identity exploration) when using Internet application like SNS (de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Haferkamp & Krämer, 2011). Facing these negative net effects, the present study starts from the following between-person hypothesis: H1:Frequency of: (a) Internet use in general; and (b) SNS use in particular are negatively related to subjective well-being (between-person correlation). ...
Article
The present research examines the longitudinal average impact of frequency of use of Internet and social networking sites (SNS) on subjective well-being of adolescents in Germany. Based on five-wave panel data that cover a period of nine years, we disentangle between-person and within-person effects of media use on depressive symptomatology and life satisfaction as indicators of subjective well-being. Additionally, we control for confounders such as TV use, self-esteem, and satisfaction with friends. We found that frequency of Internet use in general and use of SNS in particular is not substantially related subjective well-being. The explanatory power of general Internet use or SNS use to predict between-person differences or within-person change in subjective well-being is close to zero. TV use, a potentially confounding variable, is negatively related to satisfaction with life, but it does not affect depressive symptomatology. However, this effect is too small to be of practical relevance.
... In this case, self-deprecation stems from an affiliation-related motive, in which an 6 SOCIAL JUDGMENTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA individual aims to increase their relational value by highlighting personal flaws and deflecting credit for success (Exline & Lobel, 1999). Although posters of positive content on social media are frequently viewed as braggarts, many are also perceived as having a higher status -as being happier, more competent, more attractive, and as having a better life overall (Chou & Edge, 2012;de Vries & Kühne, 2015). Individuals who are perceived to be high in status (e.g., physically attractive, high achieving, successful family) are viewed by others more positively when they engage in self-deprecation, that is, when they highlight personal flaws in intelligence, traits, morality, mental health, and physical appearance (Greengross & Miller, 2008) and downplay their own abilities in connection with their successes (Hareli & Weiner, 2000). ...
Article
Two experiments examined how perceivers evaluated target individuals based on minimal information as presented in a typical social media post and whether inferences varied as a function of information source (self vs. other) and valence (positive vs. negative). Across experiments, results indicated that targets were: (a) less likely to be rated with traits consistent with behavior and (b) perceived less favorably when positive behavior information was self-generated than when the same information was other-generated. The inclusion of self-deprecating hashtags reduced the source effect of positive information by reducing perceived arrogance and increasing perceived sense of humor of target individuals. Together, these experiments provide greater understanding of the influence of information source, valence, and self-deprecation on trait and favorability judgments in a social media context.
... On the one hand, there are unvalidated questionnaires that have been constructed for a specific study, such as the questionnaire by Lee (2014), in which the author makes no mention of factorial structure or reliability. However, it has continued to be used in subsequent studies (De Vries & Kühne, 2015;Schmuck et al., 2019). Another example of an "ad hoc" questionnaire about SNs comparison is in Cramer et al. (2016), in which only reliability was addressed. ...
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Using social networks (SNs) inappropriately can lead to psychological problems. The objective of this study was to develop a new measuring instrument of problematic use of SNs. The sample comprised 1003 participants over 18 years old ( M = 42.33; SD = 14.32). Exploratory factor analysis was performed with a randomly selected 30% of the sample, and confirmatory factor analysis with the remaining 70%. The reliability of the instrument was estimated, and evidence of validity in relation to the variables—anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life—was obtained. The new scale demonstrated a two-dimensional structure (GFI =0.99; RMSEA= 0.06), with one factor of negative social comparison ( α = 0.94) and another of addictive consequences ( α = 0.91). Clear evidence of validity related to other variables was found. The new scale demonstrated good psychometric properties. The advantage of this questionnaire is that it assesses not only excessive use but also social comparison through SNs.
... With the constant exposure to information about how perfect the lives of others are, people consistently perceive that others are better off than oneself (Chou and Edge, 2012;de Vries and Kühne, 2015;Appel et al., 2016). Consequently, the constant upward social comparison that people engage in while using social media results in lowered self-appraisals or selfesteem (Vogel et al., 2014). ...
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Existing meta-analyses have shown that the relationship between social media use and self-esteem is negative, but at very small effect sizes, suggesting the presence of moderators that change the relationship between social media use and self-esteem. Employing principles from social comparison and evolutionary mismatch theories, we propose that the social network sizes one has on social media play a key role in the relationship between social media use and self-esteem. In our study (N = 123), we showed that social media use was negatively related to self-esteem, but only when their social network size was within an evolutionarily familiar level. Social media use was not related to self-esteem when people’s social networks were at evolutionarily novel sizes. The data supported both social comparison and evolutionary mismatch theories and elucidated the small effect size found for the relationship between social media use and self-esteem in current literature. More critically, the findings of this study highlight the need to consider evolutionarily novel stimuli that are present on social media to better understand the behaviors of people in this social environment.
... Aracılık analizinde ilk olarak sosyal karşılaştırma ile psikolojik sağlamlık arasındaki ilişkide "Benlik algısı", "Dünya algısı" ve "Gelecek algısı" birlikte aracı değişken olarak tanımlanmış ancak bu analizde yeterli model veri uyumu olmadığı görülmüştür Sosyal karşılaştırma ile olumsuz benlik arasındaki ilişkileri inceleyen çalışmalara bakıldığında son dönemlerde özellikle sosyal medya temelli yapılan çalışmalar göze çarpmaktadır. Sosyal medyada başkalarının profillerini takip eden bireylerin yaptıkları sosyal karşılaştırmalara bağlı olarak kendilik algılarının olumsuz etkilendiğini ortaya çıkaran pek çok çalışma mevcuttur (Lup vd., 2015;de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Nesi & Prinstein, 2015;Wang vd., 2020). Sosyal karşılaştırma kapsamında özellikle de yukarı doğru sosyal karşılaştırmanın -kendinden daha pozitif değerlendirdiği bireylerle kendini karşılaştırmanın-benlik algısı açısından tehdit ediciliği vurgulanmaktadır. ...
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Psikolojik sağlamlık, zorlu veya tehdit edici yaşam olaylarına rağmen başarılı uyum süreci ve becerisi, yüksek risk altında olumlu sonuçlar gösterebilme ve stres altında sürdürülebilir yetkinlik şeklinde ifade edilebilir. Bilişsel üçlü ise kişinin kendisi, geleceği ve dünyaya ilişkin olumsuz bir düşünme tarzı olarak açıklanabilir. Bilişsel terapi literatürü bilişsel üçlünün bireyin ruh sağlığı ile yakından ilişkili olduğunu bir çok çalışma ile ortaya konmuş durumdadır. Bu noktada bireyin düşünme sisteminin gelişmesinde kişinin kendini başka insanlar ile karşılaştırma eğiliminin etkisini incelemek ve düşünceler ile psikolojik sağlamlık arasındaki ilişkiyi bir model çerçevesinde açıklamak önem taşımaktadır. Bu çerçevede mevcut çalışmanın amacı sosyal karşılaştırma, bilişsel üçlü ve psikolojik sağlamlık arasındaki yordayıcı ve aracı ilişkileri incelemektir. Araştırmanın çalışma grubu 271 kadın (%74,2) ve 94 erkek (%25,8) olmak üzere toplamda 365 yetişkin bireyden oluşturmaktadır. Çalışmada veri toplama aracı olarak Iowa-Hollanda Karşılaştırma Yönelimi Ölçeği, Bilişsel Üçlü Envanteri ve Yetişkinler için Psikolojik Dayanıklılık Ölçeği kullanılmıştır. Araştırmanın verileri çevrimiçi bir form aracılığıyla toplanmıştır. Değişkenler arasındaki ilişkileri incelemek için ilk olarak yapılan korelasyon analizinde, sosyal karşılaştırma ile benlik algısı, dünya algısı, gelecek algısı ve psikolojik sağlamlık arasında düşük düzeyde anlamlı ilişkiler bulunurken; psikolojik sağlamlık ile bilişsel üçlünün üç boyutu arasında orta düzeyde anlamlı bir ilişki bulunmuştur. İkinci aşamada psikolojik sağlamlığın yordanmasına ilişkin kurulan regresyon denkleminde; benlik algısı (β= .-42), dünya algısı (β= .-23) ve gelecek algısının (β= .-18) psikolojik sağlamlığın anlamlı bir yordayıcı olduğu ve bu değişkenlerin birlikte psikolojik sağlamlık puanlarındaki varyansın yaklaşık % 50’sini açıklayabildiği görülmüştür. Söz konusu regresyon denkleminde sosyal karşılaştırmanın modele anlamlı katkı sağlamadığı görülmüştür (β= .05). Çalışma kapsamında yapılan aracılık analizlerinde ise sosyal karşılaştırma ile psikolojik sağlamlık arasındaki ilişkide benlik algısının tam aracı rolü olduğu belirlenmiştir.
... At the same time, such a social comparison may have side effects. When individuals are experiencing negative events, such as being in the less advantaged position, the social comparison may decrease their selfesteem and increase the risk of depression [44,45]. Thus, based on the social comparison theory, due to the disadvantaged socioeconomic status (SES) of rural students, when they compare themselves with their peers living in relatively more developed cities, they may be less satisfied with their own less developed living and educational environment, and hence themselves. ...
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Many previous studies have indicated that urban adolescents show a higher level of mental health in China compared to rural adolescents. Specifically, girls in rural areas represented a high-risk group prior to the 21st century, demonstrating more suicidal behaviour and ideation than those in the urban areas because of the severe gender inequality in rural China. However, because of the urbanisation process and centralised policy to eliminate gender inequality in recent decades, the regional and gender differences in mental health might decrease. This research aimed to probe the gender and regional differences in depressive traits among adolescent students currently in China. We adopted the national survey dataset Chinese Family Panel Studies (CFPS) conducted in 2018. Accordingly, 2173 observations from 10–15-year-old subjects were included. CFPS utilised an eight-item questionnaire to screen individuals’ depressive traits. Two dimensions of depressive traits were confirmed by CFA, namely depressed affect and anhedonia. The measurement invariance tests suggested that the two-factor model was applicable for both males and females and rural and urban students. Based on the extracted values from the CFA model, MANOVA results revealed that, compared to boys, girls experienced more depressed affect. Moreover, rural students demonstrated more anhedonia symptoms. There was no interaction between gender and region. The results suggest that, even though the gender and regional differences are small, being a female and coming from a rural area are still potential risk factors for developing depressive traits among adolescent students in China.
... Social Comparison Theory has been recently applied to social media (e.g. De Vries and Kühne, 2015;Yang et al., 2018) and digital self-tracking tools (Zhu et al., 2017). ...
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Adults’ digital self-tracking practices are relatively well studied, but these pre-existing models of digital self-tracking do not fit for how adolescents use these technologies. We apply the mechanisms-and-conditions framework of affordance theory to examine adolescents’ imagined affordances of self-tracking apps and devices. Based on qualitative data from an online survey of 16- to 18-year-olds in the United Kingdom, we find the following three key themes in how adolescents imagine the affordances of digital self-tracking: (1) the variability of use across adolescents and with adults, (2) the role of the social control of data in school settings, and (3) the salience of social comparisons among their peers. Using these findings, we show how social and institutional configurations come to matter for technological affordances. By examining adolescents’ imagined affordances for self-tracking, we suggest self-tracking research move away from a “one size fits all approach” and begin to highlight the differences in practices from adults and across adolescents.
... Individuals who have social difficulties in "real life" (neuroticism, anxiety, etc.) have been found to seek more information on Facebook (Kaspar & Müller-Jensen, 2019) and to use it to meet needs for belongingness, acceptance, and social contact and to bring out the best in themselves (Hatzithomas et al., 2019;Seidman, 2013). However, social network use has been found to be associated with negative outcomes, such as negative social comparison, negative body image, unhappiness, etc. (e.g., Amichai-Hamburger, 2017;de Vries & Kühne, 2015;Fardouly et al., 2015). ...
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Facebook offers a “village” for mothers to come together and seek and share parenting information, but while there has been substantial research examining both positive and negative aspects of parents’ Facebook use, there is no research on use of Facebook by mothers of adolescents and its association with parent-adolescent relationships. Given the intense challenges of raising adolescents and the dearth of research into potential benefits and drawbacks of mothers of adolescents seeking support from Facebook, we sought to fill this gap by focusing on the caregiving and parenting practices of mothers of adolescents who were members of mothers’ groups on Facebook. The sample included 74 Israeli dyads of mothers (Mage = 43.73, SD = 4.41), who participated in Facebook groups for mothers and their adolescent children (Mage = 12.26, SD = 3.11) during 2019. Mothers reported on their Facebook use and caregiving strategies. The adolescents answered a parenting practices questionnaire. It was found that higher permissiveness and greater psychological intrusiveness were related to higher use of Facebook by the mothers. Among mothers who were high on hyperactivation, greater permissiveness and psychological intrusiveness were related to higher Facebook use to a greater extent than among mothers who were low on hyperactivation. Alongside Facebook’s benefits as a community for mothers come serious risks for some mothers. As research in this area grows, an examination of the characteristics of Facebook use by mothers of adolescent children involved in Facebook mothers’ groups is meaningful.
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The development of social media websites is constantly attracting the online users especially the young adults. Features of social media websites offer varied information that compel individuals to do social comparison with others. The goal of this study is to examine the effect of fear of missing out on the psychological well-being of young adults. Previous studies have investigated the correlations among various variables of social media websites however there exists a gap in causal relationship studies in previous literature. To bridge this gap, researcher has used a hypothesized serial mediation model and for this study, the researcher has incorporated Fear of missing out (FoMO) as independent and psychological wellbeing (anxiety and depression) as the dependent variable while considering the mediating role of compulsive use and social comparison into the model. Data was collected from a sample of 400 university students. Results indicate that there exists a direct positive relationship between each component of the model. Moreover, indirect links show that there exists a mediation as well. Compulsive use and social comparison jointly mediate the relation between FoMO and psychological well-being. An increase in compulsive use will allow individuals to do more comparisons which in turn causes more anxiety and depression among young adults.
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Today, the excessive use of cosmetics among Iranian women and girls has become a critical psycho-social issue. Therefore, the present study aimed to test the media use model to use cosmetics concerning the mediating role of internalization of media patterns, beliefs about appearance, and body image concerns. For this purpose, 324 female students of the University of Isfahan were selected as the research sample using cluster sampling method and responded to the Media Consumption (Revised) and Beliefs about Appearance Scales, Body Image Concerns Inventory, and Socio-Cultural Attitudes to Appearance (Third Edition) and Compensatory Tendencies and Behaviors for Beauty and Fitness Questionnaires. The research model tested using structural equation modeling analysis, and the significance of the model effects evaluated using the bootstrap method. Data were analyzed using SPSS and AMOS software. Testing the model showed that the size of the fit indices for the model is desirable and this model has a good fit with the experimental data. Also, bootstrap results showed that all model effects are significant. In general, the results of the present study support the importance of the role of internalizing media patterns and body image concern in the tendency of Iranian women to use cosmetics.
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Given the explosive prevalence of WeChat engagement and the inconsistent conclusions regarding the potential negative influence of social media usage on psychological consequences, the current research aims to offer a deeper comprehending of the interrelationships between distinct patterns of WeChat interactions, upward social comparison, depressed mood, and the fear of missing out among university students. The study utilizes data gathered from a web-based survey of 318 university students aged 18 to 29. Structural equation modeling demonstrates that passive WeChat interaction is associated with a greater level of upward social comparison, which is in turn related positively to self-perceived depressive mood and fearing of missing out. Additionally, active WeChat interaction negatively predicts university students' upward social comparison. Nevertheless, the correlation between active WeChat interaction and depressive mood is not statistically significant. Overall, these obtained results could be beneficial to understanding of the psychologically powerful nature of WeChat and how novel technology-medated communication use could actually impact university students' mental health in contemporary digitally driven society.
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Recent research has shown the negative impact that social networks, especially Instagram, can have on body image. The present research aims to analyze factorial structure and psychometric properties of Instagram Image Activity Scale (IIAS) and Instagram Appearance Comparison Scale (IACS) in the Italian context. These instruments allow to detect the type of activities performed with images on Instagram and appearance comparison. 225 Italian women participated in the study. Exploratory Factor Analysis was performed to test the dimensionality of the scales; reliability was evaluated in terms of internal consistency and predictive validity was assessed considering body dissatisfaction as a criterion variable. The IIAS shows a trifactorial structure that accounted for 55.88% of the total variance: Activities: images of friends (α=0.85), Activities: images of celebrities (α=0.84), and Activities: self-images (α=0.81). The IACS showed a bifactorial structure: Frequency (α=0.94) and Direction (α=0.79) of appearance comparison. The variance accounted for was 55.51%. The scales showed good predictive validity: both the type of activities and appearance comparison on Instagram predicted body dissatisfaction. Moreover, appearance comparison mediated the relationship between the type of activity performed by the user with images and body dissatisfaction. The results suggest that both scales are valid measures that can be successfully used within the Italian context to assess different activities related to images and both frequency and direction of appearance comparison on Instagram.
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The emergence of social media has revolutionized communication and has had a profound effect on many aspects of motherhood. Image-centric social media, despite its overwhelming popularity, has faced much criticism for over-idealistic portrayals and the pressures it may place on women throughout pregnancy and the early years of their child’s life. This research aimed to determine whether a significant relationship exists between postnatal anxiety and Instagram usage in mothers with young children. The associational, cross-sectional design uses a sample of 210 mothers, aged 22–45, who have one or more children aged under 5 years. An online questionnaire measured anxiety, Instagram usage, and several potentially moderating traits. We found that the relationship between anxiety and online engagement with InstaMums – mothers made famous by Instagram – was moderated by both social comparison orientation and self-esteem. Engagement with InstaMums was associated with greater anxiety in those with higher social comparison orientation; it was also associated with greater anxiety in those with lower self-esteem. These findings are discussed in connection with social comparison theory, implications for healthy social media use, as well as avenues for future research.
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Although Social Network Site (SNS) usage has been shown to be related to online compulsive buying among women, little is known about the mediating mechanisms underlying this association. Based on the Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution model (I-PACE) for addictive behaviors and social comparison theory, the present study examined the mediating roles of upward social comparison and state anxiety in the link between passive SNS usage and online compulsive buying among female undergraduate students. A sample of 799 Chinese female undergraduate students (mean age = 19.86 years, SD = 1.63) were recruited to complete questionnaires measuring passive SNS usage, upward social comparison on SNS, state anxiety, and online compulsive buying. After controlling for online shopping experience, the results showed that passive SNS usage was positively associated with online compulsive buying; upward social comparison and state anxiety partially mediated this link, which contained three mediating pathways – the separate mediating effect of upward social comparison and state anxiety, and the sequential mediating effect of upward social comparison and state anxiety. These findings can advance our understanding of how passive SNS usage is related to online compulsive buying among female undergraduate students. Limitations and implications of this study are discussed.
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This article reviewed research studies on social media misuse (SMM), including diverse measurements, consequences caused by SMM, and its predictive factors. SMM measuring dimensions typically comprise three categories: motivation-based items, behavior-based items, and impacts-based items. The consequences caused by SMM vary from mood disorders to primary clinic mental diseases (e.g., depression, anxiety). Other life problems such as poor sleep quality and a lower grade point average were summarized. Researchers were also interested in what types of people are likely to have prominent levels of social media addiction, which may be predictive factors for SMM. User profile, including demographic characteristics, personality, and social relationships, has been examined in previous studies. This study aims to give a summary of current SMM studies and emphasize the importance of distinguishing SMM from daily usage.
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People can adopt information disseminated in online social networks whenever they receive it frequently from friends or others. Studying this social influence dynamic is crucial to understanding social interactions and users’ behavior regarding online information spread. Quantifying social influence is challenging in online social systems where the interactions and communication content can be closely followed. Here, we study the effects of repeated and diversified influence mechanisms exploring the concepts of Information susceptibility and Adoption thresholds of Twitter users. We consider hashtag and retweet adoptions on different aggregation levels: items, users, and topic groups and study the adoption characterized by diversified and repeated influence stimuli. We address this challenge by tracking the timeline order of potential influence and adopting hashtags and retweets in a specific dataset collected from Twitter, which contains the posts’ dynamics of thousands of seed users and their entire followee networks. We show that users adopt retweets easier than hashtags, and we find both metrics to be heterogeneously distributed, correlated, and dependent on the topics and aggregation level of social influence. We find that new influencing neighbors can effectively trigger adoptions, particularly for topics where a new adopter friend triggers ~ 50% of adoptions. Our results may inform better models of adoption processes leading to a deeper empirical understanding of simple and complex contagion in online social networks.
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Objective This research aimed to gain further understanding of how open Facebook groups are used for online peer to peer support and identify any similarities and/or differences between UK and US groups. Method A systematic search of mental health related open Facebook groups was conducted using relevant key words. The posts from 14 UK and 11 US groups were acquired over a three month period and content thematically analysed using Nvivo. Results Findings support previous research which evidences that online peer to peer support is beneficial for users seeking mental health information. Said support can increase feelings of connectedness, reduce feelings of isolation, and provide a platform for comparison of perspectives relating to personal experiences. Group membership may offer hope and increase feelings of empowerment in those using Facebook groups as a support mechanism. There was similar discourse seen throughout both UK and US posts in regards to gender inequality, lack of awareness and stigmatisation. Conclusions The study highlights the positive impact of shared personal experiences, and offers a greater understanding of the benefits of online peer to peer support for mental health and wellbeing. There is evidence that, whilst mental health is becoming a more widely discussed topic, in both the UK and US, it remains negatively perceived. Questions are posed for group administrators and health professionals relating to their utilisation and moderation of such online peer to peer support networks.
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Saat ini pengguna media sosial tidak terbatas pada dewasa dan remaja, tetapi sudah banyak digunakan oleh anak-anak. Melalui media sosial mereka cenderung melakukan perbandingan sosial. Tujuan dari penelitian ini untuk menguji hubungan antara penggunaan media sosial dan perilaku perbandingan sosial pada fase anak-anak akhir. Penelitian ini menggunakan desain penelitian korelasional dengan teknik pengambilan sampel non random sampling. Responden yang diteliti sebanyak 101 subyek dengan karakteristik siswa kelas VI SD, bisa berbahasa Indonesia, dan memiliki akun media sosial. Peneliti mengambil sampel satu Sekolah Dasar di Surabaya. Instrumen yang digunakan adalah skala perbandingan sosial yang disusun Gibbons & Buunk (1999) berdasarkan teori perbandingan sosial menurut Festinger (1945) dan diadaptasi oleh (Putra, 2017) serta daftar aktivitas penggunaan media sosial oleh Rosen (2013). Berdasarkan hasil penelitian, diketahui bahwa koefisien korelasi yang didapat antara skor total penggunaan media sosial dengan skor total perbandingan sosial adalah sebesar 0.313 dan signifikan pada Los 0,01 (nilai p = 0,001< 0.01), yang berarti terdapat korelasi positif yang signifikan antara penggunaan media sosial dengan tingkat perbandingan sosial. Semakin tinggi skor total penggunaan media sosial maka skor tingkat perbandingan sosial akan semakin tinggi, begitu juga sebaliknya. Peran orang tua sangat dibutuhkan dalam proses pendampingan anak usia akhir agar tidak terbawa dampak negatif dalam perbandingan diri melalui media sosial.
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Questions are raised about the potential effects of (future) mothers’ regular exposure to the perfect representations of motherhood by mommy influencers. Due to the regular exposure, mothers might see these images as the norm but are not always able to meet with these standards themselves. Based on a survey among mothers and primigravida this study analyzed the association between visiting mommy influencer profiles on Instagram, comparing oneself with these online mothers and perceived parental self-efficacy. For mothers, it was found that both exposure to the content and comparison with the mommy influencers were related to lower perceived parental self-efficacy. For primigravida, the direction of the relationship was different: Regular exposure to mommy influencer content was related to higher parental self-efficacy, meaning that this exposure was helpful. The implications of this study for (future) mothers, mommy influencers, and practitioners who guide mothers through the transition to motherhood will be discussed.
Chapter
Within the literature, Facebook has received much attention in order to understand the potential positive and negative effects associated with using the social networking site. The current chapter provides a discussion of the empirical support for the differential outcomes associated with actively posting and chatting on Facebook vs. passively browsing Facebook, as well as the underlying mechanisms for the effects. Specifically, the current chapter will discuss two perspectives related to the differential effects of active and passive Facebook use: Facebook contentment (a wellbeing enhancing effect) and Facebook depression (a wellbeing diminishing effect). The authors also discuss the extension of the results to other social media platforms and provide suggestions for future research.
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Background and aims The majority of Australians are regular users of social media, especially young adults. Of concern, is that a minority of people appear to use social media in an addictive or problematic way which is associated with negative psychological outcomes such as depression. Social comparisons, where users compare themselves to others on social media, have also been linked with depression. Therefore, the key aim of the study was to determine whether social comparisons mediate the relationship between Problematic Social Media Use (PSMU) and depression. Method In a two-part study 144 participants (65 females) answered a series of self-report questions assessing factors relating to PSMU and then came into the lab to view a series of social media images, (pre-tested to be upward or downward comparisons). Results Females used social media more problematically, liked more upward than downward comparison images and compared themselves more negatively to others on social media than did males. Higher PSMU scores were associated with depression and low self-esteem and comparing oneself more negatively to others on social media. Finally, focusing on upward comparisons and a tendency to make negative comparisons to others on social media partially mediated the association between PSMU and depression. Discussion and conclusions Social comparisons may function as a mechanism linking PSMU with negative psychological outcomes. Clinical interventions for individuals with PSMU which reduce the focus on upward social comparisons may also reduce negative psychological outcomes such as depression.
Article
Purpose Through a literature review, a gap has been identified regarding the role of competition as a driver of social network (SN) usage. This study aims to design to address this gap, seeking motivators for SN usage based on how SN consumption may be related to users’ experience of competition. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of competition in social media usage. Design/methodology/approach The authors used an exploratory qualitative approach, conducting a set of focus groups with young social media users. Data was analyzed with software. Findings Two new drivers for SN use are proposed, namely, competition and collective narrative. Research limitations/implications This is an exploratory study, and it does not seek to generalize results or quantify causal relationships among variables. Practical implications This paper offers SN managers a deeper understanding of key growth drivers for these media. Social implications This research can help society understand and debate the impacts of SNs on users’ lives, providing insights into drivers of excessive usage. Originality/value This paper proposes the following two SN usage drivers yet to be described in the literature: competition and collective narrative.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effect of middle school students’self-deprecation in the relationship between upward social comparison in social network service (SNS) and depression and the moderated mediating effect of cognitive flexibility. The participants were 288 middle school students, in the first to third grades from four middle schools located in Seoul, Gyeong-gi, and Jeonnam. The date were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficients and the Process Macro Model 4, 1, and 14.The results of this study are as follows. First, an upward comparison in SNS has a significant positive influence on students’depression, and students' self-deprecation of students mediated the relation between two. Second, the level of control, which is a sub-factor of cognitive flexibility, moderated the mediating effect of self-deprecation. That is, if students are more likely to perceive difficult situations as controllable, upward social comparison in SNS mediated by self-deprecation has smaller effect on depression.Based on these results, we suggest practical interventions to reduce depression among middle school students by decreasing upward social comparison in SNS and self-deprecation. In addition, helping students perceive difficult situations as controllable could be another effective way of reducing depression among those students who have a high level of self-deprecation in upward social comparison in SNS.
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A growing body of literature supports the notion that the well-being of individuals is influenced by their social networks site (SNS) experiences. In this research, the authors analyze the effect of such SNS experience perceptions, termed social networks affective well-being (SNAWB) on behavior in non-SNS sites. Specifically, the authors ask if the visual interface design of a non-SNS site affects the level to which the decisions made in that site are influenced by the decision maker's SNAWB. Relating to theory on emotion and action readiness, this research hypothesizes on the expected effects of a visual interface design that includes elements that may trigger SNS-related emotions. To test the hypothesis, this paper conducts two experiments: 1) an online experiment and 2) a controlled lab experiment with eye-tracking. The results show that individuals' decisions are affected by the level to which the website interface design may trigger SNS emotions. The results further provide evidence on the emotional process leading to different effects according to the type of decision made.
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The authors conducted a study to examine women’s body dissatisfaction, social comparison, and thin-ideal internalization in relation to exposure to social networking sites. Additionally, women’s body dissatisfaction, social comparison, thin-ideal internalization, and exposure to social networking sites were examined in relation to their ethnic backgrounds. A survey was completed by 725 females enrolled in undergraduate programs at California State University. Participants showed higher body dissatisfaction, social comparison, and thin-ideal internalization if they were more exposed to social media sites. Differences were also found based on ethnic backgrounds; results showed that African American and Middle Eastern/Arab women’s body satisfaction was not as low as that of white and Asian women.
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Recent scholars have dismissed the utility of self-esteem as well as programs designed to improve it. The authors challenge these contentions on conceptual, methodological, and empirical grounds. They begin by proposing that the scope of recent analyses has been overly narrow and should be broadened to include specific as well as global self-views. Using this conceptualization, the authors place recent critiques in historical context, recalling that similarly skeptical commentaries on global attitudes and traits inspired theorizing and empirical research that subsequently restored faith in the value of both constructs. Specifically, they point to 3 strategies for attaining more optimistic assessments of the predictive validity of selfviews: recognizing the utility of incorporating additional variables in predictive schemes, matching the specificity of predictors and criteria, and using theoretically informed standards for evaluating predictor– criterion relationships. The authors conclude that self-views do matter and that it is worthwhile and important to develop and implement theoretically informed programs to improve them.
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This article reviews the recent literature on uses, effects, and gratifications of media during emerging adulthood. We examine traditional media forms, including television, films, video games, music, and books, and also newer media, such as cell phones, social networking sites, and other Internet use. We find that emerging adults spend more time using the media than they spend doing any other activity, with the most time being spent on the Internet and listening to music. We also find that exposure to certain types of media content can influence both positive and negative outcomes in emerging adulthood, including, aggressive and prosocial behavior, body image, sexual behavior, friendship quality, and academic achievement. We also show that emerging adults use the media to gratify certain needs; key among these are for autonomy, identity, and intimacy needs. Finally, we discuss areas for future research involving media and emerging adulthood. © 2013 Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood and SAGE Publications.
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From 2006 to 2012, Facebook membership grew to approximately 980 million users (1). For those many users, the social networking site (SNS) has become an integral part of their daily routine, and thus provides invaluable data for psychological research. The current study investigated photo-posting activityby users in the previously definedSNS typologies: Activist, Observer, Entrepreneur, Scrap Booker, and Social Butterfly (2). Data was collected from 220 Facebook profiles.Trained coders recorded each participant's age, gender, friend count, and picture posting frequencyalong with his/her ten most recent photo-posting actions and their respective tone-positive, negative, or neutral. Subsequent data analysis highlighted common behavioral themes and usage patterns. As initially hypothesized, SNSusers posted predominantly positive photos, possibly as a means of online impression management. Not surprisingly, such photo posts received more response than either neutral or negative photo posts. In addition, a significant difference was found in the number of likesreceived among the five typologies. Specifically, Scrap Booker photos received more responses than any of the others. This study offers a glimpse into the complex processes that underlie online photo posting behavior and, at the same time, creates a basis for further inquiry using the typologies.
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The past several decades have witnessed thousands of studies into the effects of media on children and adults. The effects sizes that are found in these studies are typically small to moderate, at best. In this article, we first compare the effect sizes found in media-effects research to those found in other social and behavioral sciences, and demonstrate that small effect sizes are just as common in these other disciplines. Then, we discuss why, in contradiction to these other disciplines, small media effects often lead to opposing, or even polarized views among communication scholars. Finally, we present five challenges for future media-effects research that may increase the explanatory power of current media-effects models: 1) improved media exposure measures; 2) more programmatic research on conditional media effects; 3) more targeted, cumulative theory testing; 4) a broader recognition of transactional media effects; and 5) a reconsideration of the media-effects paradigm in the context of new media. © 2013 (Patti M. Valkenburg, [email protected] /* */; Jochen Peter, [email protected] /* */).
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Within the cultural context of MySpace, this study explores the ways emerging adults experience social networking. Through focus group methodology, the role of virtual peer interaction in the development of personal, social, and gender identities was investigated. Findings suggest that college students utilize MySpace for identity exploration, engaging in social comparison and expressing idealized aspects of the selves they wish to become. The public nature of self and relationship displays introduce feedback mechanisms by which emerging adults can legitimize images as associated with the self. Also, male–female differences in self-presentation parallel, and possibly intensify, gender norms offline. Our study suggests that social networking sites provide valuable opportunities for emerging adults to realize possible selves; however, increased pressure for female sexual objectification and intensified social comparison may also negatively impact identity development. A balanced view, presenting both opportunities and drawbacks, should be encouraged in policies regarding youth participation in social networking sites.
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This study examines the relationship between use of Facebook, a popular online social network site, and the formation and maintenance of social capital. In addition to assessing bonding and bridging social capital, we explore a dimension of social capital that assesses one's ability to stay connected with members of a previously inhabited community, which we call maintained social capital. Regression analyses conducted on results from a survey of undergraduate students (N=286) suggest a strong association between use of Facebook and the three types of social capital, with the strongest relationship being to bridging social capital. In addition, Facebook usage was found to interact with measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that it might provide greater benefits for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction.
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Contrasting hypotheses were posed to test the effect of Facebook exposure on self-esteem. Objective Self-Awareness (OSA) from social psychology and the Hyperpersonal Model from computer-mediated communication were used to argue that Facebook would either diminish or enhance self-esteem respectively. The results revealed that, in contrast to previous work on OSA, becoming self-aware by viewing one's own Facebook profile enhances self-esteem rather than diminishes it. Participants that updated their profiles and viewed their own profiles during the experiment also reported greater self-esteem, which lends additional support to the Hyperpersonal Model. These findings suggest that selective self-presentation in digital media, which leads to intensified relationship formation, also influences impressions of the self.
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Low self-esteem and depression are strongly correlated in cross-sectional studies, yet little is known about their prospective effects on each other. The vulnerability model hypothesizes that low self-esteem serves as a risk factor for depression, whereas the scar model hypothesizes that low self-esteem is an outcome, not a cause, of depression. To test these models, the authors used 2 large longitudinal data sets, each with 4 repeated assessments between the ages of 15 and 21 years and 18 and 21 years, respectively. Cross-lagged regression analyses indicated that low self-esteem predicted subsequent levels of depression, but depression did not predict subsequent levels of self-esteem. These findings held for both men and women and after controlling for content overlap between the self-esteem and depression scales. Thus, the results supported the vulnerability model, but not the scar model, of self-esteem and depression.
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Two studies tested the hypothesis that self-rated unhappy individuals would be more sensitive to social comparison information than would happy ones. Study 1 showed that whereas unhappy students' affect and self-assessments were heavily affected by a peer who solved anagrams either faster or slower, happy students' responses were affected by the presence of a slower peer only. These between-group differences proved to be largely independent of 2 factors associated with happiness, i.e., self-esteem and optimism. Study 2 showed that whereas the unhappy group's responses to feedback about their own teaching performance were heavily influenced by a peer who performed even better or even worse, happy students' responses again were moderated only by information about inferior peer performance. Implications for our appreciation of the link between cognitive processes and "hedonic" consequences are discussed.
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Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented. Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties.
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This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is Suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of friend networking sites (e.g., Friendster, MySpace) for adolescents' self-esteem and well-being. We conducted a survey among 881 adolescents (10-19-year-olds) who had an online profile on a Dutch friend networking site. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the frequency with which adolescents used the site had an indirect effect on their social self-esteem and well-being. The use of the friend networking site stimulated the number of relationships formed on the site, the frequency with which adolescents received feedback on their profiles, and the tone (i.e., positive vs. negative) of this feedback. Positive feedback on the profiles enhanced adolescents' social self-esteem and well-being, whereas negative feedback decreased their self-esteem and well-being.
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Recent scholars have dismissed the utility of self-esteem as well as programs designed to improve it. The authors challenge these contentions on conceptual, methodological, and empirical grounds. They begin by proposing that the scope of recent analyses has been overly narrow and should be broadened to include specific as well as global self-views. Using this conceptualization, the authors place recent critiques in historical context, recalling that similarly skeptical commentaries on global attitudes and traits inspired theorizing and empirical research that subsequently restored faith in the value of both constructs. Specifically, they point to 3 strategies for attaining more optimistic assessments of the predictive validity of self-views: recognizing the utility of incorporating additional variables in predictive schemes, matching the specificity of predictors and criteria, and using theoretically informed standards for evaluating predictor- criterion relationships. The authors conclude that self-views do matter and that it is worthwhile and important to develop and implement theoretically informed programs to improve them.
Article
Social cognition research indicates that life-satisfaction judgments are based on a selected set of relevant information that is accessible at the time of the life-satisfaction judgment. Personality research indicates that life-satisfaction judgments are quite stable over extended periods of time and predicted by personality traits. The present article integrates these two research traditions. We propose that people rely on the same sources to form repeated life-satisfaction judgments over time. Some of these sources (e.g., memories of emotional experiences, academic performance) provide stable information that explains the stability in life-satisfaction judgments. Second, we propose that the influence of personality traits on life satisfaction is mediated by the use of chronically accessible sources because traits produce stability of these sources. Most important, the influence of extraversion and neuroticism is mediated by use of memories of past emotional experiences. To test this model, participants repeatedly judged life-satisfaction over the course of a semester. After each assessment, participants reported sources that they used for these judgments. Changes in reported sources were related to changes in life-satisfaction judgments. A path model demonstrated that chronically accessible and stable sources are related to stable individual differences in life-satisfaction. Furthermore, the model supported the hypothesis that personality effects were mediated by chronically accessible and stable sources. In sum, the results are consistent with our theory that life-satisfaction judgments are based on chronically accessible sources.
Article
This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
Article
Social comparison consists of comparing oneself with others in order to evaluate or to enhance some aspects of the self. Evaluation of ability is concerned with the question “Can I do X?” and relies on the existence of a proxy performer. A proxy's relative standing on attributes vis‐à‐vis the comparer and whether the proxy exerted maximum effort on a preliminary task are variables influencing his or her informational utility. Evaluation of opinions is concerned with the questions “Do I like X?”“Is X correct?” and “Will I like X?” Important variables that affect an individual's use of social comparison to evaluate his or her opinions are the other person's expertise, similarity with the individual, and previous agreement with the individual. Whether social comparison serves a self-enhancement function depends on whether the comparer assimilates or contrasts his or her self relative to superior or inferior others. The kinds of self‐knowledge made cognitively accessible and variables such as mutability of self-views and distinctiveness of the comparison target may be important determinants of assimilation versus contrast.
Article
Since its introduction in 1985, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 198569. Larsen , RJ , Diener , E and Emmons , RA . 1985. An evaluation of subjective well-being measures. Social Indicators Research, 17: 1–18. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references) has been heavily used as a measure of the life satisfaction component of subjective well-being. Scores on the SWLS have been shown to correlate with measures of mental health and to be predictive of future behaviors such as suicide attempts. In the area of health psychology, the SWLS has been used to examine the subjective quality of life of people experiencing serious health concerns. At a theoretical level, extensive research conducted since the last review (Pavot & Diener, 199389. Pavot , W and Diener , E . 1993. Review of the Satisfaction With Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5: 164–172. [CrossRef]View all references) has more clearly articulated the nature of life satisfaction judgments, and the multiple forces that can exert an influence on such judgments. In this review, we examine the evolving views of life satisfaction, offer updated psychometric data for the SWLS, and discuss future issues in the assessment of life satisfaction.
Article
In recent years, a wealth of data focused on the perceived quality of life in adulthood has been produced. Strengthened by improved measures and methodologies, the findings from these research efforts have in some cases challenged, and in other cases confirmed, earlier conclusions regarding the experience of Subjective Well-Being (SWB) across the adult lifespan. Within this article, evidence indicating the importance of demographic, personality, and cultural variables to the experience of SWB is reviewed, with a particular emphasis on the experience of well-being across the adult lifespan. High SWB is related to a number of important life outcomes, such as higher levels of relationship and marital satisfaction, success and satisfaction in work settings, improved ability to cope with stress, and better health outcomes. Evidence from a number of studies indicates that average levels of life satisfaction are relatively similar for groups representing early, middle, and late adulthood, whereas the affective components of SWB show some variability. These findings and their potential implications for interventions, policies, and future research are discussed.
Article
Early research on online self-presentation mostly focused on identity constructions in anonymous online environments. Such studies found that individuals tended to engage in role-play games and anti-normative behaviors in the online world. More recent studies have examined identity performance in less anonymous online settings such as Internet dating sites and reported different findings. The present study investigates identity construction on Facebook, a newly emerged nonymous online environment. Based on content analysis of 63 Facebook accounts, we find that the identities produced in this nonymous environment differ from those constructed in the anonymous online environments previously reported. Facebook users predominantly claim their identities implicitly rather than explicitly; they “show rather than tell” and stress group and consumer identities over personally narrated ones. The characteristics of such identities are described and the implications of this finding are discussed.
Article
Millions of contemporary young adults use social networking sites. However, little is known about how much, why, and how they use these sites. In this study, 92 undergraduates completed a diary-like measure each day for a week, reporting daily time use and responding to an activities checklist to assess their use of the popular social networking site, Facebook. At the end of the week, they also completed a follow-up survey. Results indicated that students use Facebook approximately 30 min throughout the day as part of their daily routine. Students communicated on Facebook using a one-to-many style, in which they were the creators disseminating content to their friends. Even so, they spent more time observing content on Facebook than actually posting content. Facebook was used most often for social interaction, primarily with friends with whom the students had a pre-established relationship offline. In addition to classic identity markers of emerging adulthood, such as religion, political ideology, and work, young adults also used media preferences to express their identity. Implications of social networking site use for the development of identity and peer relationships are discussed.
Article
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Article
Facebook, as one of the most popular social networking sites among college students, provides a platform for people to manage others' impressions of them. People tend to present themselves in a favorable way on their Facebook profile. This research examines the impact of using Facebook on people's perceptions of others' lives. It is argued that those with deeper involvement with Facebook will have different perceptions of others than those less involved due to two reasons. First, Facebook users tend to base judgment on examples easily recalled (the availability heuristic). Second, Facebook users tend to attribute the positive content presented on Facebook to others' personality, rather than situational factors (correspondence bias), especially for those they do not know personally. Questionnaires, including items measuring years of using Facebook, time spent on Facebook each week, number of people listed as their Facebook "friends," and perceptions about others' lives, were completed by 425 undergraduate students taking classes across various academic disciplines at a state university in Utah. Surveys were collected during regular class period, except for two online classes where surveys were submitted online. The multivariate analysis indicated that those who have used Facebook longer agreed more that others were happier, and agreed less that life is fair, and those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives. Furthermore, those that included more people whom they did not personally know as their Facebook "friends" agreed more that others had better lives.
Article
Through their features--such as profile photographs or the personal vita--online profiles on social-networking sites offer a perfect basis for social comparison processes. By looking at the profile photograph, the user gains an impression of a person's physical attractiveness, and the user's vita shows which career path the person is pursuing. Against the background of Festinger's Social Comparison Theory, the focus of this research is on the effects of online profiles on their recipients. Therefore, qualitative interviews (N = 12) and two online experiments were conducted in which virtual online profiles of either physically attractive or unattractive persons (N = 93) and profiles of users with either high or low occupational attainment (N = 103) were presented to the participants. Although qualitative interviews did not initially give reason to expect online profiles to constitute a basis for comparison processes, results of the experiments proved otherwise. The first study indicates that recipients have a more negative body image after looking at beautiful users than persons who were shown the less attractive profile pictures. Male participants of the second study, who were confronted with profiles of successful males, showed a higher perceived discrepancy between their current career status and an ideal vita than male participants who looked at profiles of less successful persons.
Article
Recent research into population standards of life satisfaction has revealed a remarkable level of uniformity, with the mean values for Western populations clustering at around three-quarters of the measurement scale maximum. While this seems to suggest the presence of a homeostatic mechanism for life satisfaction, the character of such a hypothetical device is uncertain. This paper proposes that well-being homeostasis is controlled by positive cognitive biases pertaining to the self. Most particular in this regard are the positive biases in relation to self-esteem, control and optimism. Past controversies in relation to this proposition are reviewed and resolved in favour of the proposed mechanism. The empirical data to support this hypothesis are discussed in the context of perceived well-being as an adaptive human attribute.
Article
College students in 31 nations (N = 13,118) completed measures of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and satisfaction with specific domains (friends, family, and finances). The authors assessed whether cross-cultural variations in the strength of associations were related to societal dimensions including income and individualism. At the national level, individualism correlated -.24 (ns) with heterogeneity and .71 (p < .001) with wealth. At the individual level, self-esteem and life satisfaction were correlated .47 for the entire sample. This relation, however, was moderated by the individualism of the society. The associations of financial, friend, and family satisfactions with life satisfaction and with self-esteem also varied across nations. Financial satisfaction was a stronger correlate of life satisfaction in poorer countries. It was found that life satisfaction and self-esteem were clearly discriminable constructs. Satisfaction ratings, except for financial satisfaction, varied between slightly positive and fairly positive.
Article
Social cognition research indicates that life-satisfaction judgments are based on a selected set of relevant information that is accessible at the time of the life-satisfaction judgment. Personality research indicates that life-satisfaction judgments are quite stable over extended periods of time and predicted by personality traits. The present article integrates these two research traditions. We propose that people rely on the same sources to form repeated life-satisfaction judgments over time. Some of these sources (e.g., memories of emotional experiences, academic performance) provide stable information that explains the stability in life-satisfaction judgments. Second, we propose that the influence of personality traits on life satisfaction is mediated by the use of chronically accessible sources because traits produce stability of these sources. Most important, the influence of extraversion and neuroticism is mediated by use of memories of past emotional experiences. To test this model, participants repeatedly judged life-satisfaction over the course of a semester. After each assessment, participants reported sources that they used for these judgments. Changes in reported sources were related to changes in life-satisfaction judgments. A path model demonstrated that chronically accessible and stable sources are related to stable individual differences in life-satisfaction. Furthermore, the model supported the hypothesis that personality effects were mediated by chronically accessible and stable sources. In sum, the results are consistent with our theory that life-satisfaction judgments are based on chronically accessible sources.
Leading social networks worldwide as of ranked by number of active users (in millions) Retrievedglobal-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users
  • Statista
Statista (2014). Leading social networks worldwide as of October 2014, ranked by number of active users (in millions). Retrieved October 21, 2014, from http://www.statista. com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/2014
Leading social networks worldwide as of
  • Statista
Statista (2014). Leading social networks worldwide as of October 2014, ranked by number of active users (in millions). Retrieved October 21, 2014, from http://www.statista. com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/2014