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|Title:||Profiles and Newsfeeds: Social Comparisons on Facebook and their Effect on Mood and Body Image Perceptions|
|Abstract:||Social network sites are virtually ubiquitous, but scholarship is still indeterminate regarding what aspects of their use are detrimental to which subset of users. The present work examines the relationship of certain types of Facebook use to the experience of depressed moods and body dissatisfaction. Prior research and theory suggest that a user’s higher tendency towards engaging in social comparisons on social media may be a primary predictor of negative outcomes; this study hypothesizes that different types of Facebook use will be more or less encouraging of social comparisons, and thus will be more or less detrimental to users’ moods and body image perceptions. 201 female undergraduates spent ten minutes observing the material on either their own Facebook Profile (which offers presumably minimal opportunities for social comparisons) or their Facebook Newsfeed (which offers presumably many opportunities for social comparisons) and immediately thereafter completed measures to assess their moods and body image perceptions. T-tests were performed and showed no significant difference in body dissatisfaction between the Facebook Profile and Facebook Newsfeed conditions. The data did show that those participants with a high baseline tendency towards social comparisons were more depressed than those of lower baseline tendency after being exposed to the Facebook Profile (p = 0.05), and that those participants with a low baseline tendency towards social comparisons were more depressed than those of higher baseline tendency after being exposed to the Facebook Newsfeed (p = 0.04). Ultimately, this data suggests that the Facebook Profile and Facebook Newsfeed do offer differing opportunities for social comparisons. Future work should confirm and develop the option of using these pages as a way of manipulating the presence of social comparisons in experimental studies.|
|Type of Material:||Princeton University Senior Theses|
|Appears in Collections:||Psychology, 1930-2017|
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