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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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