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(1) Background. Social networking sites such as Facebook provide individuals with opportunities to express and gather information relevant to their self-concept. Previous theoretical work yielded contrasting assumptions about a potential link between individuals’ Internet use and their self-concept clarity, that is, individuals’ perception of a clear and internally consistent self-concept content. (2) Aim. Focusing on social networking sites, our aim was to provide cross-sectional as well as longitudinal evidence regarding the relationship between individuals’ feelings of connectedness to Facebook (Facebook intensity) and self-concept clarity. (3) Method. Two cross-sectional studies (N1 = 244; N2 = 166) and one longitudinal study (N3 = 101) are presented. Independent samples of adolescents, adults, and students from Austria participated. The statistical procedures included hierarchical regression analyses (Studies 1 and 2) and a cross-lagged panel analysis (Study 3). (4) Results. The studies provided consistent evidence for a negative relationship between Facebook intensity and self-concept clarity. Moreover, the longitudinal study showed that Facebook intensity predicted a decline in self-concept clarity over time whereas a reverse pathway was not supported. (5) Limitations. Future research should examine the content of the self-concept and should continue searching for specific Facebook activities that might explain the decline in self-concept clarity. (6) Conclusions. Our results suggest that an intense attachment to Facebook contributes to an inconsistent and unclear self-concept.
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Intensity Of Facebook Use Is Associated With Lower Self-Concept Clarity: Cross-
Sectional And Longitudinal Evidence
Markus Appel, Constanze Schreiner, Silvana Weber
University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
Martina Mara
Ars Electronica Futurelab Linz, Austria
Timo Gnambs
Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, Bamberg, Germany
Manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Media Psychology
We grateful to Alexandra Preslmayr and Fabiola Gattringer for their support in conducting
the studies.
Author Note
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Markus Appel, Department
of Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, Fortstr. 7, Landau 78629, Germany. E-mail:
(1) Background. Social networking sites such as Facebook provide individuals with
opportunities to express and gather information relevant to their self-concept. Previous
theoretical work yielded contrasting assumptions about a potential link between
individuals’ Internet use and their self-concept clarity, that is, individuals’ perception of
a clear and internally consistent self-concept content.
(2) Aim. Focusing on social networking sites, our aim was to provide cross-sectional as
well as longitudinal evidence regarding the relationship between individuals’ feelings of
connectedness to Facebook (Facebook intensity) and self-concept clarity.
(3) Method. Two cross-sectional studies (N1= 244; N2= 166) and one longitudinal study
(N3= 101) are presented. Independent samples of adolescents, adults, and students from
Austria participated. The statistical procedures included hierarchical regression analyses
(Studies 1 and 2) and a cross-lagged panel analysis (Study 3).
(4) Results. The studies provided consistent evidence for a negative relationship between
Facebook intensity and self-concept clarity. Moreover, the longitudinal study showed
that Facebook intensity predicted a decline in self-concept clarity over time whereas a
reverse pathway was not supported.
(5) Limitations. Future research should examine the content of the self-concept and should
continue searching for specific Facebook activities that might explain the decline in self-
concept clarity.
(6) Conclusions. Our results suggest that an intense attachment to Facebook contributes to
an inconsistent and unclear self-concept.
Keywords: Facebook, self-concept clarity, cross-lagged panel analysis, unity
hypothesis, fragmentation hypothesis
Intensity Of Facebook Use Is Associated With Lower Self-Concept Clarity:
Cross-Sectional And Longitudinal Evidence
As of December 2015, over 1.5 billion people actively use Facebook at least once in a
month, with over 1 billion daily active users on average (Facebook, 2016). Within a one-
minute time-span on Facebook users request a total of 100,000 new friends, give 3,125,000
likes, send 150,000 messages, and upload about 240,000 photos (Ahmad, 2014). The
popularity of social networking sites (SNSs) has fueled questions among social scientists
and the general public regarding the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of using
these platforms. Of particular interest have been questions about the relationship between
using SNSs and the user’s self, that is, the knowledge, attitudes, and evaluations that an
individual has about him- or herself (the “me” in William James’ terms, cf. Swann &
Bosson, 2010). Users of SNSs have ample opportunities for communicating information
about themselves, getting related feedback from communication partners, gathering
information about others, and providing feedback themselves (Appel, Mara, & Weber,
2014). These activities appear to be a potentially relevant source for the content of the self
(Who am I? How do I feel about myself?). Moreover, these activities might affect the
structure of the self as well (How sure am I about my own characteristics? Are my
characteristics consistent?). Focusing on structural aspects of the self, the aim of the current
work was to shed light on the relationship between individuals’ feelings of connectedness
to Facebook (Facebook intensity) and their perception of a clear and internally consistent
self-concept (self-concept clarity). After an integration of the (diverging) theory and
findings connected to this relationship, the results of three studies with three independent
samples are reported. Our empirical approach extends previous studies, as we focused on
SNSs and used a well-established indicator of connectedness to Facebook, the Facebook
Intensity Scale (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007). We additionally examined particular
Facebook activities and usage patterns. Importantly, we provide longitudinal evidence to
disentangle causal influences underlying the association between the intensity of Facebook
use and the clarity of the users’ self-concept.
Self-Concept Clarity
Individuals strive for a firm sense about who they are (Fiske, 2010). At the same
time, individuals differ with respect to how clearly and confidently the contents of their
self-concept are defined, and to what extent the self-concept is internally consistent and
temporally stable. Individual differences in this regard have been investigated under the
term of self-concept clarity (Campbell et al., 1996). Self-concept clarity (SCC) is a
structural feature of the self-concept and it is conceptually distinct from the particular
attributes people ascribe to themselves or how they feel about themselves. SCC is
conceived as a ‘self-opinion’ (Conley, 1984), an individual difference that is useful to
measure as a state or as a trait, because it is susceptible to environmental influences but it
shows also substantial stability over time (Campbell et al., 1996). The standard measure to
assess SCC is the Self-Concept Clarity Scale, a self-report instrument with established
psychometric properties (Campbell et al., 1996; Stucke, 2002). In recent years, studies
associated higher SCC with higher psychological adjustment (Campbell, Assanand, & Di
Paula, 2003) and well-being (Church et al., 2014), better adaptation to stress (Ritchie,
Sedikides, Wildschut, Arndt, & Gidron, 2011), better body image (Vartanian & Dey, 2013),
and higher explicit self-esteem (Brandt & Vonk, 2006).
Communication is considered to be a key to achieve a clear sense of oneself.
Individuals learn about themselves by observing their own (communicative) behavior (self-
perception theory, Bem, 1972). Moreover, others’ reactions to one’s behavior are an
important source for developing a firm self-concept (looking glass self, Cooley, 1902;
perceived appraisals, Kenny & DePaulo, 1993). In their attempt at establishing a firm self-
concept, individuals can profit from other people’s reactions on their appearance and
behavior. A longitudinal study conducted with Dutch adolescents (Frijns & Finkenauer,
2009), for example, showed that adolescents who openly communicated with their parents
(i.e., kept less secrets) indicated higher self-concept clarity after a six months delay (self-
concept clarity did not predict communication with parents at a later point of time, see also
van Dijk et al, 2014). However, communication may as well be related to an unclear sense
of oneself. The more students engaged in intimate discussions with their peers and talked
about their evaluations of others (i.e., tended to gossip), the lower their SCC (Watson,
2011). This is in line with research showing that social comparison processes – both
upward and downward social comparison – are associated with an unclear sense of self (cf.
Butzer & Kuiper, 2006; Vartanian & Dey, 2013).
Self-Concept Clarity in the Digital Age: Competing Predictions
Today much of the communication of adolescents and adults is conducted over the
Internet, which provides ample access to means of self-presentation and self-disclosure, and
to getting self-relevant feedback from others. Moreover, Internet applications provide
individuals with the opportunity to communicate more or less anonymously, and to select
which aspects of the self they wish to reveal. Thus, it is an intriguing question how online
communication relates to users’ SCC. There are basically two competing hypotheses
regarding the influence of online activities on the clarity of the user’s self-concept – the
fragmentation hypothesis and the self-concept unity hypothesis (cf. Valkenburg & Peter,
The fragmentation hypothesis dates back to the early days of the Internet when
chatrooms, bulletin boards, and multiuser dungeons (MUDs) were among the most popular
applications. In these applications users were represented only by nicknames, which
facilitated taking on different identities. MUDs typically required users to adopt a certain
non-self identity as part of a role-playing game. Social scientists observed that individuals
indeed used the Internet to experiment with different identities that were only loosely tied
to their identity in the offline world (e.g., Reid, 1998; Turkle, 1995). The extent to which
users engaged in experimenting with different identities is a matter of some debate (cf.
Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011), but it seems safe to say that even in the earlier days of
the Internet, pretending to be someone completely else (e.g., pretending to have the
opposite sex) was not very common (Gross, 2004; Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011).
In contrast to the early applications, SNSs such as Facebook require individuals to
build an online representation of the user’s true offline identity; pretending to be someone
completely else is considered a norm violation. Still, users can and do present different
facets of themselves that may more or less represent their ‘true self’. Michikyan and
colleagues (Michikyan, Dennis, & Subrahmanyam, 2014; Michikyan, Subrahmanyam, &
Dennis, 2014) showed that users most often wish to express their real self on Facebook
(e.g., “how I am in real life”), but other facets are communicated as well, such as the ideal
self (“to show aspects of who I want to be”). The authors further identified three forms of
‘false self’, that are expressed on Facebook, that is, for the sake of exploration (“try-out
many aspects of who I am much more than I can in real life”), to deceive (“try to be
someone other”), and to impress and compare with others (“I try to impress others with the
photos I post of myself”). In many instances a Facebook activity arguably reflects a mixture
of these different forms of representing oneself on Facebook. Likewise, Facebook users in a
study by Toma and Carlson (2015) perceived their profiles to be more positive than their
actual selves on some dimensions (e.g., “outgoing”, “adventurous”, but also “relaxed”). On
other dimensions they perceived their Facebook profiles to be accurate (e.g., “creative”,
“friendly”, “physically attractive”) and they felt their profiles came across more negative
than their actual selves on even other dimensions (“reliable”, “intelligent” or “deep”).
Negative self-images on Facebook were attributed to postings by friends, which are
difficult to control, but add to a Facebook profile.
According to the fragmentation hypothesis, the salience of many possible selves,
and the heterogeneity of self-expressions – and others’ feedback in response to these
different facets – impair the development of a consistent and temporally stable self-concept
(cf. Reid, 1998). Consequently, the fragmentation hypothesis predicts that more intense use
of Facebook should predict lower self-concept clarity.
The self-concept unity hypothesis emphasizes the overlap between offline and
online selves. With respect to Facebook, a highly cited study indicates that Facebook
profiles provide valid information on the users’ personality, as observers could gauge users’
real personality – rather than their ideal personality – just by knowing their Facebook page
(Back et al., 2010). In other contexts, however, the overlap between online and offline self
might be smaller (Gosling & Mason, 2015), because it is unlikely that individuals ever meet
in person, such as in online gaming portals (Graham & Gosling 2013), or the incentive to
express one’s ideal self is particularly large, such as on dating websites (Ellison et al.
2012). In line with the self-concept unity hypothesis recent research reconstructed
Facebook activities as means for self-affirmation (Toma, 2013; Toma & Hancock, 2013).
Self-affirmation theory posits that individuals have a need for self-integrity and self-worth
and that in everyone’s life many incidents challenge this positive view of oneself (Steele,
1988). Given these challenges and threats, individuals construct the world in a way to
preserve self-integrity. Applied to Facebook activities, this theoretical framework suggests
that users are motivated to present themselves in a positive, yet honest manner (Toma,
2013; Toma & Hancock, 2013). Thus, flattering postings about oneself are conceived as
something that is an integral part of the “true self”, rather than a dislocated “ideal self” or
“false self”. From a self-affirmation perspective, engaging in Facebook activities
contributes to users’ feelings of self-integrity (Toma & Hancock, 2013). According to the
self-concept unity hypothesis Facebook users tend to communicate aspects of the true self
to a large number of other individuals. These interaction partners in turn provide
information to validate one’s self-concept, which leads to a firm sense of oneself (cf.
Calvert, 2002). Thus, more intense use of Facebook should predict higher self-concept
Initial Empirical Evidence and Open Questions
In recent years, a substantial number of studies focused on the link between
Internet and Facebook use and self-content measures, most notably between Facebook use
and self-esteem and well-being. The findings have been mixed with some indicating
positive and some indicating negative relationships (e.g., Kim & Lee, 2011; Kross et al.,
2013; see Huang, 2010, for a meta-analysis of early studies). Recent research suggest that
for users who do not actively engage in producing content but rather prefer to read others’
postings and comments, Facebook use is related to lower self-esteem whereas more
positive associations were observed for more active usage patterns (Chou & Edge, 2012;
große Deters & Mehl, 2013; Krasnova, Wenninger, Widjaja, & Buxmann, 2013; Verduyn
et al., 2015). Active versus passive usage patterns might as well contribute to more rather
than less SCC, because acts of self-presentation (e.g., posting comments and photos,
commenting on things) appear to be a key for deriving self-relevant feedback that can
facilitate the validation of the self-concept. On a more cautionary note, however, activities
like changing one’s profile picture frequently, or even actively pretending to be someone
else might indicate and perpetuate low rather than high SCC.
Empirical evidence on the relationship between Internet use and self-concept
clarity is limited. In a cross-sectional study among Canadian undergraduates, Matsuba
(2004) reported negative relationships of SCC with the time spent online and pathological
Internet use. Moreover, SCC was associated with the motives to use the Internet for
communication, and for entertainment. Valkenburg and Peter (2008) focused on SCC as a
potential consequence of identity experiments online. A cross-sectional survey on Dutch
adolescents found a significant negative correlation between SCC and engaging in such
experiments, whereas SCC was positively associated with the variety of communication
partners. Both relationships were small in size and the latter vanished when observed as
part of a larger structural equation model. Third, a cross-sectional study was conducted in
Israel with adolescents in 7th to 9th grade (Israelashvili, Kim, & Bukobza, 2012). SCC was
unrelated to the hours surfing the Internet, but negatively related to Internet usage as
indicated by the extent they engaged in a variety of Internet-related activities such as using
chats, games, discussion groups, or exploring new websites. Moreover, SCC exhibited a
negative association with the level of Internet addiction. Finally, a cross-sectional survey
conducted with adolescents in Barbados (Davis, 2013) showed that SCC was negatively
linked to a self-conceived measure of online identity expression and identity exploration,
but positively linked to friendship quality and mother relationship quality.
Overall, these findings have a common tenor in pointing at a negative relationship
between Internet use and SCC. This pattern is in line with the fragmentation hypothesis and
in contrast to the unity hypothesis. However, the findings are limited in key regards: First,
no prior study focused on SNSs. At the time two of the studies were conducted (Matsuba,
2004; Valkenburg & Peter, 2008), engaging in SNSs was a much less common activity than
today and the measures of both other studies applied to Internet activities as a whole. As
outlined above, in contrast to applications such as chatrooms, video gaming portals or
dating websites, SNSs have been described as facilitating a greater overlap between offline
and online selves. Thus, the association between intensive use of Facebook and self-
concept clarity could differ from earlier research that did not focus on SNSs. Second, the
cross-sectional data of these studies allow the possibility of alternative explanations of the
results found. Possibly, the associations are due to the tendency of individuals with low
SCC to search for self-relevant information by means of online communication and
Facebook use. This is basically the reverse causality of the causal path expected from the
fragmentation hypothesis. Third, the findings are based on single-item measures or ad hoc
scales of Internet use. The use of validated measures would strengthen the evidence.
Overview and Predictions
The general aim of the current set of studies was to examine and disentangle the
relationship between the intensity of Facebook use and SCC. We used a well-established
measure of Facebook intensity, the Facebook Intensity Scale (Ellison et al., 2007), which
was developed “to tap the extent to which individuals are emotionally connected to
Facebook, and the extent to which Facebook is integrated into individuals’ daily lives“ (p.
1150). Since its development it has been used in a large number of studies on the
antecedents, corollaries and consequences of Facebook use (e.g., Clayton, Osborne, Miller,
& Oberle, 2013; Pabian, De Backer, & Vandebosch, 2015; Valenzuela, Park, & Kee, 2009).
This approach adds to the prior studies on Internet use and SCC which frequently involved
measures with unknown reliability and validity.
Based on this Facebook intensity measure, our first aim was to examine whether
the negative relationship between Internet use and SCC translates to the use of SNSs, and
Facebook in particular. To that end, data from two independent samples were collected
(Studies 1 and 2). In Study 2 we further examined particular activities and usage patterns on
Facebook, including identity shifts (pretending to be someone else). Information on the
prevalence of these activity patterns contributes to the literature on identity exploration (cf.
Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011). We further examined relationships between these
activities and SCC. Our second aim was to provide initial evidence on the causal patterns
underlying the relationship between Facebook intensity and SCC, based on a short-term
longitudinal design (Study 3).
Study I
Sample and procedure. A convenience sample of 238 volunteers was recruited in a
mid-sized Austrian city by research assistants. All ethical requirements for conducting
empirical survey research were met. Among the volunteers, 13 had no Facebook account
and were therefore excluded from further analyses; one participant reported that he had not
answered the questionnaire seriously. The remaining sample consisted of 224 participants
(62.9 % women). About two thirds of the sample accessed the questionnaire over the
Internet, one third worked on paper-and-pencil questionnaires. The sample consisted
predominantly of adolescents (n = 66 were between 14 and 18 years old) and young adults
(137 were between 19 and 26 years old, 34 participants were 27 or older). The participants’
age ranged from 14 to 48 years (M= 21.27 years; SD = 5.80).
Measures. The measures reported here were administered as part of a larger survey.
The means, standard deviations, and zero-order correlations of the variables are displayed
in Table 1.
Self-concept clarity. This construct was measured with the 12-item Self-Concept
Clarity Scale (Campbell et al., 1996, sample item “I spend a lot of time wondering what
kind of person I really am”, reverse-coded, German adaptation: Stucke, 2002). Five-point
response scales were provided (1 = not true at all to 5 = completely true). Higher mean
scores indicated higher clarity. The reliability of this scale was good, as indicated by a
Cronbach’s alpha of .81.
Facebook intensity. We assessed this construct with the help of a German language
version of the Facebook Intensity Scale (Ellison et al., 2007).1The six items (sample item:
“Facebook is part of my everyday activity“) went with five-point scales ranging from 1 =
strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree and showed a good Cronbach’s alpha reliability of
.83. Higher mean scores indicated a more intense relation to Facebook.
Facebook access frequency. As a second indicator of Facebook usage, we assessed
how often participants went online to check Facebook. A twelve-point scale was provided
that ranged from 0 = less than once a week to 11 = 12 times per day or more often.
Results and Discussion
Based on the prior research that addressed Internet use more broadly, a negative
relationship between Facebook intensity and SCC was expected. Our hypothesis was
examined with the help of a hierarchical regression analysis with SCC as the criterion. Age
and gender were entered first in the equation, followed by Facebook intensity entered
second. The demographic variables yielded a significant effect, F(2, 221) = 13.05, p<
.001, R² = .11, which can be attributed to a significant influence of age, B= 0.03, SEB=
0.01, β = .27, p< .001, whereas gender was unrelated to SCC, B= -0.02, SEB= 0.08, β = -
.01, p= .84. Facebook intensity turned out to be a significant predictor of SCC, B= -0.16,
SEB= 0.05, β = -.23, p< .001, ΔR² = .05. Thus, controlled for age and gender, more
intensive use of Facebook predicted less self-concept clarity. We further inspected higher-
order interactions to examine whether this relationship varied with respect to participants’
1Originally, the Facebook Intensity Scale included two additional items with an open-ended response format
(Ellison, et al., 2007). Only the six rating-scale items were used in the current studies.
gender or age. The three two-way and the three-way interactions yielded no significant
result (all ts < |1.43|, all ps > .15).
Extending prior research on Internet use and SCC, we focused on the most popular
SNS, Facebook, using a reliable and valid set of items. Our findings are in line with the
fragmentation hypothesis and consistent with earlier studies that identified a negative
association between SCC and measures of compulsive Internet use, Internet addiction,
engaging in identity experiments online, and popular Internet activities (Davis, 2013;
Israelashvili et al., 2012; Matsuba, 2006; Valkenburg & Peter, 2008). Our rather diverse
group of adolescents and adults allowed us to examine whether participants’ age influenced
the results, however, neither age nor gender moderated the core relationship.
Study II
Questions regarding the relationship between identity and Internet use are
particularly pertinent for the group of adolescents (cf. Arnett, 1995). In this age group the
development of a coherent self-concept is an important task, and adolescents belong to the
Internet’s most avid users (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011). The aim of our second study
was two-fold. We aimed at replicating the findings from Study 1 with a different sample, in
a different setting (see for example Benoit & Holbert, 2008, on the importance of
replication). This time, our particular focus was on adolescents, as establishing a firm sense
of one’s self is especially important for this age group (Valkenburg & Peter, 2011). Our
second aim was to extending the set of variables examined in the first study, and we further
asked for particular Facebook activities. We were interested in the prevalence of these
activities and their relationships to SCC.
Sample and procedure. Two hundred and six students were recruited at secondary
schools in a mid-sized Austrian city and answered the questionnaire in class. All ethical
requirements for conducting empirical survey research at schools were met. Among the
students, 184 returned the completed questionnaire and indicated that they had answered
the questions sincerely. Eighteen students had no Facebook account. The remaining sample
consisted of 166 participants (108 female) aged 14 to 20 years (M= 16.39 years; SD =
Measures. Self-concept clarity and Facebook intensity were measured with the
same scales as in Study 1 and showed good reliabilities, as indicated by a Cronbach’s alpha
of .79 (self-concept clarity) and .83 (Facebook intensity). We further assessed Facebook
access frequency like in Study 1. Seventeen additional items were included, that asked
about the typical activities they engage in on Facebook (e.g., changing the profile picture,
uploading pictures/videos, reading comments others wrote in response to one’s postings, to
act as if one was somebody else, see Table 2). The items went with 5-point scales ranging
from 1 = not at all true to 5 = completely true. Among the Facebook activity items,
‘playing with different identities’ and ‘playing games’ were extremely uncommon among
our participants, 147 (88.6%) had the lowest possible score on ‘playing with different
identities (for similar results see for example Valkenburg & Peter, 2008), 130 (78.3%) had
the lowest possible score on ‘playing games’. To avoid spurious results, both variables
were excluded from further analyses. Table 2 provides the complete list of activities/usage
patterns along with means, standard deviations, and zero-order-correlations.
Results and Discussion
To examine our main hypothesis, we ran a hierarchical regression analysis. SCC
served as criterion and demographic variables (age and gender) were entered first,
Facebook intensity was entered in a subsequent step. The demographic variables, taken
together, had no significant effect on SCC, F (2,163) = 2.17, p= .12, R² = .03, with age
being a significant single predictor variable, B= 0.07, SEB= 0.04, β = .16, p= .047.
Importantly, Facebook intensity was a significant predictor of SCC, B= -0.12, SEB= 0.05,
β = -.19, p= .02, ΔR² = .03. More intense use of Facebook predicted less self-concept
clarity. In order to test whether or not this relationship was moderated by participants’
gender or age, higher-order interactions were examined. Neither one of the three two-way,
nor the three-way interaction reached significance (all ts < |1.14|, all ps > .26).
To examine the role of the Facebook activities on SCC, over and above the
influence of Facebook intensity, the 15 Facebook activities were entered in the regression
equation as an alternative fourth step. The variables together made a marginally significant
contribution in explaining self-concept clarity F (15, 144) = 1.60, p= .08, ΔR² = .13.
Among the 15 activities only two contributed significantly (alpha = .05) to the model.
Those were “Look at others’ reactions to my postings (e.g., status updates, links)”, B= -
0.10, SEB= 0.05, β = -.21, p= .03, and “Just browse and like, nothing else”, B= -0.10,
SEB= 0.05, β = -.22, p= .03. Of note, even if all 15 activities were entered into the
equation, the predictive power of the Facebook Intensity Scale approached significance, B
= -0.11, SEB= 0.06, β = -.16, p= .08.
Focusing on a sample of adolescents, we again found a negative association
between Facebook intensity and SCC, for both genders, and irrespective of participants’
age. In line with expectations (see also Verduyn et al., 2015), two rather passive specific
modes of using Facebook were negatively related to self-concept clarity. The results of our
cross-sectional studies are in contrast to the self-concept unity hypothesis, which assumes
that intense use of SNSs and related applications allows users to develop a particularly clear
sense of their selves (cf. Valkenburg & Peter, 2011). However, due to the cross-sectional
character of these studies we are hesitant to interpret the data as a support for the
fragmentation hypothesis, which posits that the intense use of SNSs hinders rather than
assists people’s strivings for a clear self-concept. Individuals with low SCC might be more
strongly attracted to Facebook and other SNSs (as compared to individuals with higher
SCC), because they find the opportunities for self-presentation and receiving feedback from
others on Facebook to be particularly attractive. In order to disentangle these competing
causal pathways, a longitudinal study was conducted.
Study III
Although both previous studies concordantly demonstrate that Facebook intensity
predicted SCC, causal interpretations of these results are inappropriate, because both
studies adopted cross-sectional designs. Therefore, this study was based on a short-term
longitudinal research design that assessed both constructs at two measurement occasions.
Using cross-lagged panel analyses (McArdle & Nesselroade, 2014) this design provides
information on causality, that is, whether Facebook intensity influences SCC or, rather,
SCC influences Facebook intensity.
Sample and procedure. The participants were students recruited from an
introductory course in consumer behavior at an Austrian university. They answered the
questionnaire in class and were invited to answer the same questions three months later.
The second questionnaire was administered online. Participants received extra credit for
participation. Of the 122 students who participated at both points of time, fourteen had no
Facebook account and five had missing values on the relevant items. They were not
included in the analyses. Two additional participants indicated that they had not seriously
answered the questions. The remaining sample consisted of 101 persons (62 women) with
an age range of 19 to 37 years (at T1: M = 22.37; SD = 3.34).
Measures. Facebook intensity and self-concept clarity were assessed with the same
scales as in both previous studies. Reliabilities (Cronbach’s alpha) were satisfactory for
both scales at both points of time (Facebook intensity: αT1 = .81, αT2 = .84; self-concept
clarity: αT1 = .83, αT2 = .89).
Statistical analyses. The associations between Facebook intensity and SCC across
the two measurement occasions were examined using cross-lagged panel analyses (cf.
McArdle & Nesselroade, 2014) in Mplus 7 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2012) with a robust
maximum likelihood estimator. In line with the previous studies all models acknowledged
gender and age as control variables. All analyses modeled the two constructs as latent
factors. To create more parsimonious measurement models, we did not analyze individual
item scores, but created three item parcels following the item-to-construct balance
technique (Little, Cunningham, Shahar, & Widaman, 2002). Because meaningful
interpretations of longitudinal models require invariant measurement models (Little, 2013;
Little, Preacher, Selig, & Card, 2007), longitudinal factorial invariance was investigated for
each construct by comparing a model with factor loadings for a given parcel constrained to
be equal over time to a model without equality constraints. Following prevalent
recommendations (Little et al., 2007), these models also included autocorrelations among
the residuals of a given parcel, which accounts for the systematic variance associated with
each parcel.
The goodness of fit of these models was evaluated using the Comparative Fit Index
(CFI) and the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA). In line with
conventional standards (e.g., Hu & Bentler, 1999; Schermelleh-Engel, Moosbrugger, &
Müller, 2003), models with a CFI > .90 and a RMSEA < .10 are interpreted as
”acceptable”, and CFI .95 and RMSEA .05 as ”good” fitting.
Results and Discussion
Longitudinal measurement invariance was examined in two steps. First, we fitted an
unconstrained longitudinal latent factor model for each construct to the data that included
one latent factor at each measurement occasion. The respective models for Facebook
intensity, χ2(5) = 4, CFI = 1.00, RMSEA = .00 [.00, .10], and SCC, χ2(5) = 2, CFI = 1.00,
RMSEA = .00 [.00, .09], showed good fits to the data. In the next step, the factor loadings
were constrained across time. The respective models did not fit worse than the
unconstrained models, Δχ2(2) = 0.08, p= .96 for Facebook intensity, and Δχ2(2) = 5.39, p=
.07 for SCC. This confirms the assumption of invariant measurement structures; the
meaning of both constructs did not change over time.
In light of the invariant measurement models, we fitted the cross-lagged models
presented in Figure 1 to the data. The model showed a good fit to the data, χ2(52) = 62, CFI
= 1.00, RMSEA = .00 [.00, .04]. Overall, the demographic variables showed only rather
marginal effects on Facebook intensity and SCC: age predicted Facebook intensity at the
first measurement occasion, B= -0.07, SEB= 0.02, β = -.29, p< .001, and SCC at the
second measurement occasion, B= -0.03, SEB= 0.01, β = -.15, p= .03, whereas gender
predicted SCC at the first measurement occasion, B= 0.12, SEB= 0.06, β = .22, p= .04. All
other paths of gender or age on SCC and Facebook intensity were not significant, all ps >
.24. With regard to the focal constructs, both showed considerable stability across time, B=
1.02, SEB= 0.06, β = .95, p< 001, for Facebook intensity, and B= 0.82, SEB= 0.14, β =
.68, p< 001, for SCC. Importantly, Facebook intensity predicted changes in SCC over
time, B= -0.18, SEB= 0.09, β = -.22, p= .04. In contrast, SCC was not associated with
respective changes in Facebook intensity, B= 0.03, SEB= 0.09, β = .02, p= .74.
Thus, the results demonstrate that more intensive use of Facebook predicted less
self-concept clarity over time, whereas the reverse effect could not be corroborated. This
finding supports the fragmentation hypothesis, indicating that intensive use of Facebook
contributes to a more diffuse sense of one’s self.
General Discussion
Social networking sites such as Facebook offer plenty of possibilities to provide,
share, and obtain information that is relevant for one’s own view of oneself. The focus of
our work was on the relationship between Facebook intensity (i.e., the emotional
connection to Facebook and its relevance in people’s daily lives, cf. Ellison et al., 2007) on
the one hand and self-concept clarity (i.e., the extent to which one’s self-concept is
perceived to be internally consistent and temporally stable, cf. Campbell et al., 1996) on the
other. One theoretical perspective, the self-concept unity hypothesis, assumes that the more
intense the connection to Facebook, the better individuals know about themselves, due to
the vast opportunities for self-presentation and receiving self-relevant feedback through
Facebook and other means of computer-mediated communication (cf. Valkenburg & Peter,
2011). In contrast, the fragmentation hypothesis suggests that the more intense the
connection to Facebook, the more confused individuals are about themselves, because the
multi-faceted expressions of the self and heterogeneous feedback complicate the
development of a clear self-concept. Prior results were somewhat supportive of the
fragmentation hypothesis, as negative relationships between several Internet use indicators
and SCC were found with cross-sectional designs (Davis, 2013; Israelashvili et al., 2012;
Matsuba, 2006; Valkenburg & Peter, 2008). These prior studies did not focus on social
networking sites. Do these findings translate to the use of Facebook?
With our first two studies, both cross-sectional as well, we provided evidence for a
negative link between Facebook intensity and SCC. Moreover, the contribution of specific
Facebook activities was examined. Adopting a completely different identity was very rare,
which reflects the difference between the use of Facebook and the use of applications that
were popular in the early days of the Internet, such as anonymous chatrooms or MUDs (cf.
Turkle, 1995). The negative links between SCC and ‘Focusing on others’ reaction to
postings’ and ‘Just browsing and liking’ are in line with recent evidence suggesting that the
passive use of Facebook might have particularly deleterious effects on users’ self.
However, due to the cross-sectional methodology, the relationships observed might as well
have been the result of selective exposure, that is, the more individuals are unclear about
themselves, the more intense their affiliation with Facebook.
Our third study provides evidence on the causal mechanisms underlying the
relationship between SCC and Facebook intensity (this is one of only two longitudinal
studies we are aware of in which any Internet-related variable and the clarity of one’s self-
concept was connected).2Based on a cross-lagged panel analysis we found that higher
Facebook intensity predicted lower SCC at a later point of time. The reverse causal
relationship was not supported by our data, higher SCC was unrelated to Facebook intensity
at a later point of time. Thus, it appears that a strong attachment to Facebook impedes the
development of a firm sense of oneself.
Limitations and future research
Despite the contribution of our studies, the limitations and open questions
associated with our research need to be noted. First, our focus was on SCC, a structural
feature of the self-concept. Our research is silent on the content of the self-concept, for
example on the influence of Facebook intensity on self-ascribed attributes (e.g., thoughtful,
sportive, artistic) or self-esteem (see for example Johnston et al., 2013; Steinfield, Ellison,
& Lampe, 2008; Toma, 2013; Toma & Haddock, 2013; Verduyn et al., 2015). Although a
positive link between SCC and explicit (but not implicit) self-esteem was repeatedly found
(see Brandt & Vonk, 2006, for an overview), we believe that it is important to stick to the
conceptual separation between SCC and self-concept content variables. We believe that
2The only other study (Yang & Brown, 2016) was published after the present studies were conducted. In two
cross-sectional mediation models they showed that the intentional use of Facebook for self-presentation
(sample item “When I posted or shared things on Facebook, I rarely thought about its consequences”, reverse
coded) was positively related to general self-reflection (sample item “I frequently examine my feelings“),
which was in turn negatively related to SCC. In a longitudinal model, higher SCC was predicted by higher
self-esteem at an earlier point of time. Others’ supportive reactions to the participants’ Facebook activities
(sample item “I felt supported by the feedback”) was found to be unrelated to SCC cross-sectionally and
theoretical models and empirical studies that connect patterns of SNS use with both self-
concept clarity and self-esteem or well-being could provide intriguing insights. In a study
using experience sampling, Kross and colleagues (Kross et al., 2013) showed that the
amount of Facebook use (item “How much have you used Facebook since the last time we
asked?”) predicted a decline in affective well-being. Given our findings, the reduction in
self-concept clarity could be a process explaining this effect.
Second, it needs to be stressed that self-reported SCC does not equal an accuracy of
the self-concept. In fact, SCC is positively related to tendencies of self-deception and the
self-reported clarity might in part be due to a positive illusion of self-concept unity (Brandt
& Vonk, 2006)—a positive illusion that intense Facebook users might have problems to
uphold. Third, although Study 2 included specific activity measures, our research was
focused on the Facebook Intensity Scale, which allows a reliable and valid measurement as
well as a latent factor analysis. Its psychometric properties are well-established. Keeping in
mind the problem of cumulated alpha errors in significance testing, this is preferable to
multi-single-item sets of variables. However, the Facebook Intensity Scale cannot
illuminate particular activities, or behavioral modes that can be made responsible for the
observed decrease in SCC. Our additional findings show that pretending to be someone else
– which could contribute to an unclear sense of the offline self – is rare on Facebook.
Future research seems warranted that further examines the exact activities and stimuli
which are responsible for decreases in SCC. Promising research avenues include the
distinction between directed communication (interactions between the focal user and a
friend) and consumption (Burke, Marlo & Lento, 2010), or between active and passive use
(Verduyn et al., 2015). On a related note, social comparison processes (cf. Corcoran,
Crusius & Mussweiler, 2011) might be a crucial factor: People constantly compare
themselves with others to gather information about their characteristics and abilities. These
social comparisons are automatic whenever individuals are confronted with information
about how other people behave, think, and feel - and can even occur outside conscious
awareness (Mussweiler, Rüter, & Epstude, 2004). On SNSs individuals are constantly
exposed to information about others (e.g., their current activities or achievements) and,
thus, social comparisons are particularly likely. Indeed, Facebook intensity was associated
with the frequency of social comparisons on Facebook (Lee, 2014). Comparison processes,
in turn, were found to be associated with feelings of uncertainty about themselves (e.g.,
Butzer & Kuiper, 2006; Vartanian & Dey, 2013). This rationale connects to prior
distinctions between directed communication and consumption (Burke, Marlo & Lento,
2010), or between active and passive use (Verduyn et al., 2015). Passive activities such as
reading others’ postings or browsing others’ photos on Facebook should trigger these
comparison processes more readily than more self-centered activities such as composing
new status updates. Clearly, more research is warranted that explicitly addresses this
mediating mechanism of social comparison processes.
Fourth, the longitudinal design of Study 3 allowed us to inspect relationships over
several months, but future research might profit from more than two measurement
occasions encompassing longer time spans. Facebook intensity showed higher stability
estimates than SCC across the longitudinal design of Study 3. The interplay between the
two constructs could be different when focusing on longer periods of time. A longer time-
span, preferably several years, would likely yield larger variations in Facebook intensity. In
that sense future research might allow for a more nuanced identification of reciprocal
processes (cf. Slater, 2007; 2015; Stiglbauer, Gnambs, Gamsjäger, & Batinic, 2013).
Finally, in order to provide evidence on causality, our third study was longitudinal,
adding to the small, but growing literature that examined antecedents and consequences of
SNS use over time (e.g., Kross et al., 2013; Saslow et al., 2013; Steinfield, Ellison, &
Lampe, 2008; Teppers et al., 2014; Trepte & Reinecke, 2013; Verduyn et al., 2015). To
date, too few of the available evidence are based on longitudinal studies. When
experimental designs are inappropriate, only longitudinal data are able to shed light on the
direction of potential causal pathways. Despite the virtue of longitudinal studies the
unaccounted for influence of third variables can pose a problem. We cannot rule out the
possibility that variations of a third and unaccounted for variable caused both Facebook
intensity to increase and SCC to decrease. Future studies are encouraged to include control
variables, such as users’ personality or more state-like constructs such as loneliness which
may change substantially even if the retest interval is short (cf. Cacioppo et al., 2000;
Gnambs, 2014; Ryan & Xenos, 2011).
Facebook is – more or less so – part of the life of many adolescents and adults. Our
research indicates that with an increasing connection to Facebook (Facebook intensity)
individuals perceive their self-concept to be less clear and less coherent (self-concept
clarity). This intriguing finding needs additional support in the years to come, including
further research on its mechanisms and boundary conditions.
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Table 1
Study 1: Means (standard deviations) and zero-order correlations
M(SD) 12345
1 Gender 0.63 (0.48) -
2 Age 21.27 (5.80) -.01 -
3 Self-concept clarity 3.84 (0.62) -.02 .32*** -
4 Facebook intensity 2.83 (0.87) .04 -.23** -.29*** -
5 Facebook access frequency 6.51 (2.70) .04 -.31*** -.14* .64*** -
Note. Gender was dummy-coded (0 = male, 1 = female). * p< .05; ** p< .01; *** p< .001
Table 2
Study 2: Means (standard deviations) and zero-order correlations
M (SD) 123456789
1. Gender 0.65 (0.48) -
2. Age 16.39 (1.36) .04 -
3. Self-concept clarity 3.60 (0.63) -.05 .15* -
4. Facebook intensity 2.94 (0.97) .27*** .01 -.19* - .
5. Facebook access frequency 7.96 (2.91) .33*** -.02 -.20* .51*** -
6. Change profile picture 2.17 (1.03) .26** -.08 -.14 .24* .21** -
7. Upload pictures / videos 2.47 (1.17) .26** -.03 -.04 .31*** .31*** .60*** -
8. Share pictures / videos 1.93 (1.81) -.02 -.04 -.12 .22** .02 .19* .25** -
9. Share links 1.81 (1.07) -.04 .05 -.09 .14 .01 .15* .23** .61*** -
10. Look at others’ reactions to my
postings (e.g., status updates, links) 2.60 (1.28) .07 .07 -.20** .25** .18* .20* .32*** .08 .20**
11. Look at others’ reactions to photos I
have uploaded (e.g., comments, likes) 3.28 (1.23) .23** -.01 -.08 .34*** .30*** .37*** .40*** .03 .07
12. Chatting / writing personal messages 4.04 (1.11) .25** -.14 -.12 .33*** .33*** .25** .26** .09 .10
13. Liking things others have uploaded 3.90 (1.10) .33*** -.14 -.03 .34*** .35*** .20* .24** .15 .14
14. Commenting on things others have
uploaded 2.89 (1.21) .20** .04 .00 .49*** .25** .28*** .30*** .16* .10
15. Coordinating offline activities /
signaling participation 2.30 (1.24) .03 -.01 -.04 .16* .11 .11 .20* .13 .16*
16. Being remembered about birthdays 3.14 (1.47) .30*** .11 .08 .27** .21** .10 .10 -.02 .07
17. Poking 2.01 (1.23) .14 -.08 -.10 .28*** .07 .22** .20** -.01 .04
18. Just browse and like, nothing else 3.27 (1.38) .06 -.12 -.18* .12 .09 -.13 -.17* .13 .10
19. Just browse 2.61 (1.43) -.15 .02 -.03 .00 -.02 -.18* -.18* .11 -.02
20. Try to reveal minimum information 3.26 (1.24) -.10 .10 .09 -.23** -.14 -.29*** -.40*** -.18* -.15
Note. Gender was dummy-coded (0 = male, 1 = female). * p< .05; ** p< .01; *** p< .001. The activities (rows/columns 6 to 20)
were introduced as follows: “When I am on Facebook, the following activities are typical for me...”.
Table 2 (continued)
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
1. Gender
2. Age
3. Self-concept clarity
4. Facebook intensity
5. Facebook access frequency
6. Change profile picture
7. Upload pictures / videos
8. Share pictures / videos
9. Share links
10. Look at others’ reactions to my
postings (e.g., status updates, links) -
11. Look at others’ reactions to photos I
have uploaded (e.g., comments, likes) .55*** -
12. Chatting / writing personal messages .17* .32*** -
13. Liking things others have uploaded .19* .37*** .48*** -
14. Commenting on things others have
uploaded .15 .29*** .41*** .53*** -
15. Coordinating offline activities /
signaling participation .18* .11 .14 .16* .14 -
16. Being remembered about birthdays .18* .13 .16* .29*** .25** .34*** -
17. Poking .21** .05 .22** .22** .34*** .19* .30*** -
18. Just browse and like, nothing else .13 .07 -.08 .32*** .03 .01 .10 -.04 -
19. Just browse .04 -.04 -.17* -.06 -.10 -.19* -.08 -.07 .43*** -
20. Try to reveal minimum information -.13 -.22** -.21** -.20* -.30*** -.04 .06 -.11 .17* .37***
Figure 1. Cross-lagged model for Facebook intensity and self-concept clarity with standardized effects. Measurement models and
control variables are not presented. Effects in italics are significant at p<. 05.
... This issue has led to some debate. Some evidence has suggested potential harmful effects of SNS use on self-concept clarity (e.g., Appel et al., 2018), while other studies have obtained null (e.g., Valkenburg & Peter, 2008) or even positive effects (e.g., Davis, 2013). Mixed findings reveal the necessity to uncover why SNS use may or may not predict self-concept clarity. ...
... In terms of our conceptual framework (Figure 1), the mixed findings of past research may be accommodated to some extent when relevant suppressor effects are taken into account. Specifically, SNS use intensity can have a direct, negative effect on SCC due to processes related to identity fragmentation (e.g., Appel et al., 2018), but it may simultaneously have an indirect, positive effect by improving one's social connections and social support (e.g., Davis, 2013). ...
... In sum, it is possible that SNS use intensity indirectly affects SCC by influencing social support (i.e., positive indirect effect). Additionally, the possibility of a negative relationship between SNS use intensity and SCC (Appel et al., 2018) may be explained by suppression effects in the overall relationship (i.e., total effect) of SNS use and SCC given the opposing direct and indirect influences. ...
Social network sites (SNSs) allow young people to experiment with and present different aspects of themselves during important periods of self-concept development. Interestingly, whether SNSs have negative or positive effects on self-concept clarity (SCC) is inconclusive. We propose that SNS use may simultaneously produce negative and positive effects on SCC, depending on how people use it and the social connection quality created on-line. Specifically, the suppressing mediation model reveals that the direct effect of SNS use intensity on SCC is negative, whereas the indirect effects via perceived social support and self-esteem are positive, suggesting these variables may suppress the negative effect of SNS use on SCC. Our framework helps to explain how SNS contexts influence identity development in young people.
... From a psychosocial point of view, SNSs can be considered digital places that allow users to manage their social identities and relationship networks (Appel et al., 2018;Kaakinen et al., 2018;Kim, 2018;Ruggieri et al., 2013;Yang, 2019). The innovative perspectives offered by these digital places allow the dissemination of ideas, opinions, reactions, interests, and activities between users. ...
Today, more than ever before, awareness of our ability to interact with others through and use social network sites (SNSs) is of fundamental importance, in light of the fact that we are connected to the Web 24 h a day, 7 days a week. Studies of social media in recent decades have shown that self-efficacy is one of the key variables affecting individual online behavior. The general aim of the studies presented here was to develop and validate a new self-report scale measuring self-efficacy in SNS use (an SNS self-efficacy scale, or SNS-SES). Across two studies, a total of 1295 Italian adolescents and adults (ages 15 to 89; M = 38.21, SD = 15.6) participated. The SNS-SES consists of 24 items assessing four factors of self-efficacy in SNS use: task-oriented/technological, task-oriented/social, interpersonal, and emotional. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses showed a clear factorial validity of this stable four-factor solution.
... Nevertheless, various roles and values on the internet may lead teenagers to face conflict in their own self-identities if their inner selves have yet to be fully developed (Valkenburg, 2011). Teenagers with passive social networking site use can come into contact with different ideas, opinions, feedback, and value orientations, making them doubt their true inner selves and further reducing their self-concept clarity (Appel et al., 2018). However, adolescents with relatively chaotic self-concept are prone to psychological maladjustment (Lutz & Ross, 2003). ...
... Thus, the persistence of static digitally mediated memories may constrain the narrative identities people are able to construct, especially in critical periods of identity development (Eichhorn, 2019). Perhaps this is why cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence suggests that the intensity of one's Facebook and Internet use is associated with lower self-concept clarity (Appel et al., 2018;Petre, 2021). ...
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We evaluate how features of the digital environment free or constrain the self. Based on the current empirical literature, we argue that modern technological features, such as predictive algorithms and tracking tools, pose four potential obstacles to the freedom of the self: lack of privacy and anonymity, (dis)embodiment and entrenchment of social hierarchy, changes to memory and cognition, and behavioral reinforcement coupled with reduced randomness. Comparing these constraints on the self to the freedom promised by earlier digital environments suggests that digital reality can be designed in more freeing ways. We describe how people reassert personal agency in the face of the digital environment’s constraints and provide avenues for future research regarding technology’s influence on the self.
... This comparison was predicted through the passive use of SNSs. In addition, the intensive use of SNSs could reduce self-concept clarity [60]. Recent literature [57,61] has also shown gender differences in online self-presentation: female adolescents were likely to modify their online selfpresentation by editing their photos, which led to lower selfacceptance, including reduced body and life satisfaction [10,62]. ...
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Purpose of Review The rapid development of social networking sites (SNSs) has affected adolescents’ well-being with great impact on social experience. In this scoping review, we aimed to map out what is known from the most recent literature about adolescents’ emotional well-being and the role of emotional regulation skills in preventing problematic SNS use. We used the Arksey and O’Malley methodological framework, and we based the study selection procedure on the PRISMA process. Then, we selected 52 English and peer-reviewed papers from PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, Wiley Online Library, and Web of Science. Recent Findings We found both positive and negative effects of SNS use on adolescents’ emotions with online self-presentation and social comparison as key mechanisms to explain differences in subjective well-being. The risk of developing problematic use of SNSs is influenced by time spent on SNSs, active or passive use, and adolescents’ social and emotional skills. Summary This review suggested the importance of emotional experiences and social support in both in-person and online interactions. Future research is needed to provide the basis for a better forthcoming classification of problematic SNS use.
... O dado à priori mais surpreendente do resultado quantitativo é o fato da área de Psicologia, situada no entrecruzamento entre Ciências da Saúde e Ciências Sociais, ter tão baixa representatividade no escopo. Sabe-se que, por um lado, o mito é um dos objetos centrais da abordagem psicanalítica e, por outro lado, os fenômenos midiáticos e especialmente as mídias sociais digitais têm gerado efeitos significativos sobre os afetos e a psique tanto individual como coletiva(Mayate & Blas, 2014;Méa, Biffe, & Ferreira, 2016;Appel, Schreiner, Weber, Mara & Gnambs, 2016;Fonseca, Couto, Melo, Amorim & Pessoa, 2018).Tabela 1 -Distribuição dos artigos por área de conhecimento do(s) autor(es)Fonte: elaboração própria Um segundo olhar para os artigos disponíveis em cada uma das áreas identificadas permitiu determinar duas grandes categorias de tratamento da noção de mito: a primeira, concernente à maioria dos artigos levantados, trata o mito em um sentido genérico, sem nenhum tipo de abordagem conceitual ou de desenvolvimento teórico; foi identificada com a categoria do "senso comum". A segunda detém-se no mito enquanto objeto teórico. ...
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O livro “Organizações e Movimentos Periféricos nas Redes Digitais Ibero-Americanas” é um esforço coletivo para retratar diferentes aspectos da atuação de forças sociais no ambiente virtual, sob o prisma das periferias, conceito em plena construção, como ressalta a investigadora Mara Rovida (2020). Estudos geográficos e sociológicos atrelam periférico/a à regiões e a indivíduos afastados dos centros urbanos e dos equipamentos sociais, marcados pela pobreza e segregação (D’Andrea, 2013). Essa mesma periferia geraria uma noção identitária de quem produz o território (Santos, 2002), a ponto de ser um local em potência, dada a dinâmica social poderosa realizada por seus sujeitos periféricos (D’Andrea, 2020). No que se refere à comunicação social, as periferias deteriam o potencial do que Rovida chama de diálogo social solidário nas bordas urbanas, (2020. 6), uma reinterpretação da Solidariedade Orgânica (Durkheim, 1977, in 2004), em dinâmica de cooperação necessária ou interdependência, e da prática jornalística como forma de interação social, ação coletiva e dependente da interação entre sujeitos (Medina, 2014).
... La ausencia de discrepancia es comparable con el constructo claridad del autoconcepto utilizado por Campbell et al. [12] para aludir a la claridad y coherencia con que un sujeto se define a sí mismo. Este constructo ha sido utilizado por diversos estudios sobre la autopresentación en línea en adolescentes que hallaron una relación inversa entre la claridad del autoconcepto, la autopresentación idealizada y el tiempo utilizado en las redes sociales por los adolescentes [3,60]. [41] proponen la existencia de otros yoes posibles, relacionados con lo que un sujeto cree que podría, le gustaría o teme llegar a ser en el futuro. ...
... Descriptively found on this research are, late adolescent's level of self-concept clarity is founded to be relatively low. Contrary to previous finding [32], self-concept clarity was found to be increased by age, and this low level is explained by other factors, such as increased level of anxiety and stress [33] [34], a transition period that might cause shifting process in many aspects of adolescent's life [35], as well the high intensity of social media usage [36]. Much as the level of self-disclosure founded to be relatively high. ...
... Early studies on adolescents' found mixed results on the role of online communication for self-concept clarity (see the review by Valkenburg & Peter, 2011). However, two recent cross-sectional surveys and a two-wave panel study by Appel et al. (2018) indeed found that more intense Facebook use was (longitudinally) related to decreased self-concept clarity, lending some support for this link. ...
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Do social media affect users’ mental health and well-being? By now, considerable research has addressed this highly contested question. Prior studies have investigated the effects of social media use on hedonic well-being (e.g., affect and life satisfaction), psychopathology (e.g., depressive or anxiety symptoms), or psychosocial risk/resilience factors (e.g., loneliness, stress, self-esteem). Yet, public concern over social media effects often centers on more long-term negative outcomes, which may be better captured by indicators of eudaimonic well-being. Indeed, neglecting the eudaimonic side of well-being may have introduced outcome omission bias, since eudaimonia is both conceptually and empirically distinct from other dimensions of mental health and may be uniquely affected by social media use. Specifically, psychology currently theorizes eudaimonic well-being to be best represented by the experiences of (a) meaningfulness, (b) authenticity, and (c) self-actualization. A research synthesis of how social media use relates to these core indicators of eudaimonia is currently missing, however. We thus present a first narrative review that synthesizes both theoretical and empirical links between three key social media uses (i.e., active, passive, and “screen time”) and eudaimonic well-being. The synthesis shows that while there are indeed several plausible theoretical links, the evidence is too scarce and inconsistent to allow definitive conclusions at this time. We instead give recommendations for how the field can close important gaps by investigating whether social media afford or constrain opportunities to find meaning, live authentically, and grow as a person.
This study examined the individual and interactive associations between self-esteem, social anxiety, and real and false self-presentation on Facebook. Data came from a college sample of 216 emerging adult Facebook users (M age ≈ 23, 171 women). Findings indicate that social anxiety moderated the association between self-esteem and false self-presentation, such that emerging adults low in self-esteem and high in social anxiety may present themselves in a more deceptive, inauthentic, and socially desirable manner on Facebook. Results also suggest that emerging adults with higher self-esteem may present their real self (authentic) more on Facebook, whereas emerging adults with lower self-esteem may present their false self (deceptive and socially desirable) to a greater extent. Findings also indicate that socially anxious emerging adults may present their false self more on Facebook, motivated by social desirability and self-exploration. Implications for interpersonal experiences (e.g., social acceptance and social rejection/exclusion) during emerging adulthood are discussed.
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We review fundamental issues in one traditional structural equation modeling (SEM) approach to analyzing longitudinal data — cross-lagged panel designs. We then discuss a number of new developments in SEM that are applicable to analyzing panel designs. These issues include setting appropriate scales for latent variables, specifying an appropriate null model, evaluating factorial invariance in an appropriate manner, and examining both direct and indirect (mediated), effects in ways better suited for panel designs. We supplement each topic with discussion intended to enhance conceptual and statistical understanding.
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Self-presentation, a central element of young people’s identity development, now extends from face-to-face contexts to social networking sites. Online self-presentation may change when youth transition to college, faced with the need to reclaim or redefine themselves in the new environment. Drawing on theories of self-presentation and self development, this study explores changes in youth’s online self-presentation during their transition to a residential college. It also examines associations between online self-presentation and students’ self-esteem and self-concept clarity. We surveyed 218 college freshmen (M age = 18.07; 64 % female, 79 % White) at the beginning and again at the end of their first semester. Freshmen’s Facebook self-presentation became less restricted later in the semester. Broad, deep, positive, and authentic Facebook self-presentation was positively associated with perceived support from the audience, which contributed to higher self-esteem contemporaneously, though not longitudinally. Intentional Facebook self-presentation engaged students in self-reflection, which was related to lower self-concept clarity concurrently but higher self-esteem longitudinally. Findings clarified the paths from multifaceted online self-presentation to self development via interpersonal and intrapersonal processes during college transition.
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The reinforcing spirals model (RSM) has two primary purposes. First, the RSM provides a general framework for conceptualizing media use as part of a dynamic, endogenous process combining selective exposure and media effects that may be drawn on by theorists concerned with a variety of social processes and effects. Second, the RSM utilizes a systems-theory perspective to describe how patterns of mediated and interpersonal communication contribute to the development and maintenance of social identities and ideology as well as more transient attitudes and related behaviors, and how those outcomes may influence subsequent media use. The RSM suggests contingencies that may lead to homeostasis or encourage certain individuals or groups to extreme polarization of such attitudes. In addition, the RSM proposes social cognitive mechanisms that may be responsible for attitude maintenance and reinforcement. This article discusses empirical progress in testing the model, addresses misconceptions that have arisen, and provides elaborated illustrations of the model. The article also identifies potentially fruitful directions for further conceptual development and empirical testing of the RSM.
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Publisher Summary Individuals come to “know” their own attitudes, emotions, and other internal states partially by inferring them from observations of their own overt behavior and/ or the circumstances in which this behavior occurs. Thus, to the extent that internal cues are weak, ambiguous, or uninterpretable, the individual is functionally in the same position as an outside observer, an observer who must necessarily rely upon those same external cues to infer the individual's inner states. This chapter traces the conceptual antecedents and empirical consequences of these propositions, attempts to place the theory in a slightly enlarged frame of reference, and clarifies just what phenomena the theory can and cannot account for in the rapidly growing experimental literature of self-attribution phenomena. Several experiments and paradigms from the cognitive dissonance literature are amenable to self-perception interpretations. But precisely because such experiments are subject to alternative interpretations, they cannot be used as unequivocal evidence for self-perception theory. The reinterpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena and other self-perception phenomena have been discussed. The chapter highlights some differences between self-perception and interpersonal perception and shift of paradigm in social psychology. It discusses some unsolved problems, such as the conceptual status of noncognitive response classes and the strategy of functional analysis.
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The present study examines Facebook self-presentation from the perspective of the self-presenters themselves: How do Facebook users believe they come across in their profiles? A sample of undergraduate students (N = 212) rated their Facebook self-presentations as highly positive, although not so positive as to communicate an idealized version of self. Additionally, self-presenters believed that their profiles portrayed them as better than reality on certain dimensions of self (e.g., “funny,” “adventurous,” “outgoing”), accurately on other dimensions (e.g., “physically attractive,” “creative”), and worse than reality on yet other dimensions (“intelligent,” “polite,” “reliable”). Participants believed that their own profile postings made them come across more positively than reality, but Friends' postings made them come across more negatively than reality. The results are generally consistent with the Hyperpersonal model's notion of selective self-presentation.
Prior research indicates that Facebook usage predicts declines in subjective well-being over time. How does this come about? We examined this issue in 2 studies using experimental and field methods. In Study 1, cueing people in the laboratory to use Facebook passively (rather than actively) led to declines in affective well-being over time. Study 2 replicated these findings in the field using experience-sampling techniques. It also demonstrated how passive Facebook usage leads to declines in affective well-being: by increasing envy. Critically, the relationship between passive Facebook usage and changes in affective well-being remained significant when controlling for active Facebook use, non-Facebook online social network usage, and direct social interactions, highlighting the specificity of this result. These findings demonstrate that passive Facebook usage undermines affective well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Emerging adulthood is an important period for self-development, and youth use online contexts for self-exploration and self-presentation. Using a multiple self-presentation framework, the present study examined emerging adults’ presentation of their real self, ideal self, and false self on Facebook, and the relation between their identity state, psychosocial well-being, and online self-presentation. Participants (N = 261; 66 males, 195 females M age 22) completed self-report measures of identity state, well-being, and self-presentation on Facebook. Respondents reported presenting their real self more than their ideal self and false self on Facebook. A path analysis suggested that emerging adults who reported having more coherent identity states also reported presenting their real self on Facebook to a greater extent. However, those with a less coherent sense of the self and lower self-esteem reported presenting their false self on Facebook to a greater extent. Implications for methodology and future directions are discussed.