How Facebook Boosts Your Self-Esteem

March 30, 2011 Katharina Lochner

frustration at work

A Reason to Like Facebook

Online social networks, Facebook in particular, are frequently subject to criticism. For example, people disclose their personal data without even thinking about the consequences. In sum, we read more negative news about them than positive ones.

Now here’s a reason to like Facebook. Amy Gonzales and Jeffrey Hancock from Cornell University conducted a study in which student sat in front of a computer, one group editing their Facebook profiles, a second group looking at a mirror, and a third group looking at the blank computer screen for three minutes. Afterwards, all of them answered a self-esteem questionnaire. It turned out that those who had edited their Facebook profile had a higher self-esteem than before, whereas the self-esteem of the other two groups had not changed.

The original article will appear in the peer reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. The authors also describe their experiment here, and there is one more article on it here.

So this means Facebook can help boost people’s self-esteem. The authors of the study see the reason for this for example in the fact that we can show what we like about ourselves on our profile pages. Furthermore, feedbacks from others are mostly positive. Probably a reason to like Facebook.

About the Author

Dr Katharina Lochner is the former research director for the cut-e Group which was acquired by Aon in 2017. Katharina is now a researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Iserlohn, Germany. In her role at cut-e, she applied the research in organizational and work psychology to real-world assessment practice. She has a strong expertise in the construction and evaluation of online psychometric tools.

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