Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Facing the Facebook mirror can boost self-esteem

Date:
March 2, 2011
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
A new study has found that Facebook can have a positive influence on the self-esteem of college students.

A new study has found that Facebook can have a positive influence on the self-esteem of college students.

This is probably because Facebook allows them to put their best face forward, said Jeffrey Hancock, associate professor of communication at Cornell University and co-author of "Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem" published Feb. 24 in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

Hancock said users can choose what they reveal about themselves and filter anything that might reflect badly. Feedback from friends posted publicly on Facebook profiles also tends to be overwhelmingly positive, which can further boost self-esteem, he said.

"Unlike a mirror, which reminds us of who we really are and may have a negative effect on self-esteem if that image does match with our ideal, Facebook can show a positive version of ourselves," Hancock said. "We're not saying that it's a deceptive version of self, but it's a positive one."

In the study, 63 Cornell students were left alone in the university's Social Media Lab; they were seated either at computers that showed their Facebook profiles or at computers that were turned off. Some of the off computers had a mirror propped against the screen; others had no mirror.

Those on Facebook were allowed to spend three minutes on the page, exploring only their own profiles and associated tabs. They were then given a questionnaire designed to measure their self-esteem.

Participants looking in a mirror and those in control groups were given the same questionnaire.

While their reports showed no elevation in self-esteem, those who had used Facebook gave much more positive feedback about themselves. Those who had edited their Facebook profiles during the exercise had the highest self-esteem.

"For many people, there's an automatic assumption that the Internet is bad. This is one of the first studies to show that there's a psychological benefit of Facebook," Hancock said.

The lead author of the study, Amy Gonzales, received her Ph.D. from the Communication Department at Cornell in 2010. She is now a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amy L. Gonzales, Jeffrey T. Hancock. Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2011; 14 (1-2): 79 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2009.0411

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Facing the Facebook mirror can boost self-esteem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301202827.htm>.
Cornell University. (2011, March 2). Facing the Facebook mirror can boost self-esteem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301202827.htm
Cornell University. "Facing the Facebook mirror can boost self-esteem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301202827.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) Facebook says the DEA violated its Terms of Service and that such impersonations damage the integrity of the site. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
For Google, Even A $16.5 Billion Earnings Report Is A Miss

For Google, Even A $16.5 Billion Earnings Report Is A Miss

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) Analysts were expecting more, but Google’s ad growth slowed on the quarter and the company is spending more of its money. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Signs Cybersecurity Order, Wants Safer Payments

Obama Signs Cybersecurity Order, Wants Safer Payments

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama announces details of a new executive order designed to make federal payments safer following recent massive data breaches. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins