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The Psychology of Social Networking

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Eliisa Carter

on 25 April 2014

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Transcript of The Psychology of Social Networking

Eliisa Carter
AP Psychology
Period 1
The Psychology of Social Networking

Robin Dunbar, a British anthropologist, theorized a relationship between the fact that primates are unusually social animals and the use of near constant socialization. He believed that the primates' knowledge of other's relationships are crucial for primates to advance their social standing in their community. This brings up the question (and implies the answer) how similar is this to human socialization today, especially through social networking sites?
In continuation with the evolutionary perspective, Dunbar theorized that humans, at first, had a social group the size of 50 members. However, over the last 10,000 years, humans have increased their socialization group size to 150. This brings up another question; Are humans increasing their social group size due to use of social networking?
Attractive Male
Carpe Diem
TV on the Radio
Mr. Krab's face when he wants more jellyfish.
likE this if u lov Cake!!!111!!1!
"They'll Never Know" Child
Hipster Ariel
Elijah Wood/Frodo Baggins
Feel Like A Sir Meme
Patrick Star
Haters Gunna Hate Meme
Social Networking and Self Esteem
Another experiment was conducted on the relationship between social networking and self esteem. This study shows that narcissism present on social networking sites is indicated through a higher level of activity on an online community and self promotional content.
"An Examination of Student Attitudes Regarding Use and Appropriateness of Content"
According to the study (titled above), there was a significant gender difference based on the attitude about the content of the material posted on social networking sites and how comfortable they felt with employers or other authority figures viewing this information.
Correlation Between Social Networking and Mood
In measuring the relationship between stress/relaxation and online community sites, researchers have found that social networking sites provide high positive valence and arousal. This study was measured by having participants experience relaxed condition, stressful condition, and activity on sites like Facebook. The reaction to the three conditions were indicated by physiological responses like pupil dilation and respiratory rates.
Dr. Sigman of the British Institute of Biology says that social networking has multiple health impacts like altering genes, hormone levels, function of arteries, influences mental ability and immune systems. The less physical activity spent sitting in front of a computer or another electronic device for a long period of time (spending a lot of time on social networking sites) increases the chance of stroke, cancer, dementia, and heart disease.
Negative Effects on Health
With over 800 million active users, Facebook is changing the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another and share information. This opens up a new platform for social scientists to assess behavior . But because Facebook is such a novel and recent phenomenon, uncertainty still exists about the most effective ways to do Facebook research.
One study shows that we do actually limit the number of friends we have on social networking sites. "A recent study from Bruce Goncalves and associates at Indiana University appears to demonstrate that even with the great reach of a tool like Twitter, we are still bound to the original Dunbar number, 150. When they set up a criterion that required a tweet to be requited--that is, a two-way conversation, they found that users became overwhelmed when they had to keep up with more than 150 followers."
Sociocultural Perspective
This perspective mainly focuses on how our actions, personalities, and beliefs are shaped by society. With sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, influence of behavior has been magnified. Even something as seemingly simple as "Yolo" serves as an example of the influence of the internet on behavior on social networking sites and outside of the internet. People have always gathered to socialize in different environments (which have evolved over time), the internet is just a new and more efficient way to socialize. So of course this new platform of socialization will influence behavior of others, just like any non-virtual socialization network. Sites like Twitter, just speed up and magnify the influence of these sites much more than before.
Evolutionary Perspective
A dutch experiment was conducted by Dr. Patti M. Valkenburg to find the effect social networking sites had on the user's self esteem. The researchers found that social networking sites have an indirect effect on the participants' (those using social networking sites) well being/self-esteem. The effect is dependent on whether the subject received positive or negative feedback from using the interactive site. The feedback being how often the participants (adolescent aged) received feedback from other users on the site ( how many friends they had, the frequency of interaction with other users, etc.).
Social Networking and Self Esteem
Humanistic Perspective
Based on the effect social networking sites have on self esteem, these communication sites could have a profound effect on people's hierarchy of needs. Because these sites do serve as a means of socialization, social networking relates to the third level of needs in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Love/Belonging. As shown in the previous slides about self-esteem, social networking sites have a tremendous effect on user's esteem based on how many friends they have online, interaction, etc., ultimately resulting an effect on the following need level, Self Esteem.
Difference in Gender and Age
Comparing Facebook Disclosure and Privacy in Adolescents and Adults
This study explored the differences between adolescents and adults in use of privacy settings. Adolescents reported disclosing more information on Facebook and using the privacy settings less than adults. Despite these differences, the results indicated that adolescents and adults were more similar than different in the factors that predicted information disclosure and control. Adolescents spent more time on Facebook and disclosed more information, while adults had higher self-esteem than teens.
Why Do People Use Social Networking Sites?
According to a study that focused on the participants' reason to use social networking sites, there are three dimensions in the use of online community sites. The Information Dimension (retrieving information via online), the Connection Dimension (meeting new people online), and the Friendship Dimension (maintaining relationships online).
Why Do People Use Social Networking Sites?
Blogging sites (tumblr, blog.com, etc) and social networking sites "illustrate the fusion of key elements of human desire—to express one's identity, create community, structure one's past and present experiences. Social networking sites can serve as a lens to observe the way in which people currently use digital technologies and can transform the traditional cultural norms.
Success Kid Meme
Gurak, L. J., & Antonijevic, S. (2008). The Psychology of Blogging; You, Me, and Everyone in Between. American Behavioral Scientist, 52 (1)/ Retrieved from http://abs.sagepub.com/content/52/1/60.short
Bonds-Raacke, J., & Raacke, J. (2010). Individual Differences Research. Individual Differences Resaearch Group, 8 (1). Retrieved from http://www.mendeley.com/research/myspace-facebook-identifying-dimensions-uses-gratifications-friend-networking-sites/
Peluchette, J., & Karl, K. (2008). Social Networking Profiles: An Examination of Student Attitudes Regarding Use and Appropriateness of Content. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11 (1). doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.9927. Retrieved from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.2007.9927
Wilson, R., Gosling, S., & Graham, L. (2012) A Review of Facebook Research in Social Sciences. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7 (3). Retrieved from http://pps.sagepub.com/content/7/3/203.abstract
Christofides, E., Muise, A., & Desmarais, S. (2012). Hey Mom, What's on Your Facebook? Comparing Facebook Disclosure and Privacy in Adolescents and Adults. Social Psychological & Personality Science, 3 (1). Retrieved from http://spp.sagepub.com/content/3/1/48.abstract
Mauri, M., Cipresso, P., Balegra, A., Villamira, M., & Riva, G. (2011). Why Is Facebook So Successful? Psychophysiological Measures Describe a Core Flow State While Using Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(12). Retrived from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2010.0377
Grohol, J. (2009). Social Networking Harms Health? LOL. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2012, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/19/social-networking-harms-health-lol/
Rosofsky, I. (2011). Even with Social Networking, Do Our Brains Limit Our Number of Friends?. Psychology Today, Adventures in Old Age. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-old-age/201105/even-social-networking-do-our-brains-limit-our-number-friends
Buffardi, L. E., & Campbell, W. K. (2008). Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(10). Retrieved from http://psp.sagepub.com/content/34/10/1303.short
Valkenburg, P. M., Jochen, P., & Schouten, A. P. (2006). Friend Networking Sites and Their Relationship to Adolescents' Well-Being and Social Self-Esteem. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 9(5). Retrieved from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.2006.9.584
Rogers, M. (2007). How Social can We Get?; What Evolutionary Psychology Says about Social Networking. MSNBC. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20642550/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/t/how-social-can-we-get/#.T8ZLst0U7lE
Which Perspective Is Most Relevant to the Topic of Social Networking?
The humanistic perspective is the most relevant to the topic of social networking because it explains the incentive to use socialization sites in order for humans to achieve a certain level of belonging. The way and the frequency of interaction with other people on social networking sites by users have a direct effect on their level of self esteem, which is the consecutive level after Love/Belonging on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This perspective explains the reason social networking sites are so successful and are used often as well as, the profound effect these sites have on level of esteem.
Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory
Sociocultural psychologist, Lev Vygotsky stated that development depends on interaction with people and this interaction with others shapes their view of the world and their actions. Even though social networking sites are fairly new, users can experience influence of their behavior through interaction of others, which can lead to learning a series of behaviors they are influenced by online. This is shown through the physical world application of phrases like "OMG" or "YOLO", not just on the internet. This theory also explains the use of social networking sites, if people in your surroundings use social networking sites and is shown as a major part of their time, those who are non-users might decide to utilize them as well.
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