The Effects of Self-Presentational Goals While Using Social Networking Sites on Contingencies of Self-Worth
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2012
People’s social image is an important part of their feelings of self-worth (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). The rise in social networking sites allows for people to become even more social, yet allows them a great amount of control over their social image. The present research investigated whether the social and self-presentational nature of social networking sites can change its users’ contingencies of self-worth (Crocker & Wolfe, 2001). It was hypothesized that social networking use leads to an increased concern with others’ perception and a greater dependence on external contingencies of self-worth (appearance, approval of others, and competition). Forty-four participants used a social networking site designed to mimic Facebook for one week. Participants’ goals for the social networking site were manipulated and change in their external contingencies of self-worth and concern with perception on Facebook was measured. Although no significant changes in external contingencies of self-worth were found, participants with an impression goal became more concerned with their perception on Facebook compared to participants with an expression goal. This provides preliminary evidence that striving to impress others through social networks can lead to an increased concern with others’ perceptions and possibly an increased value placed on validation from others.