Validation in social media: Links to Personality and Self-esteem

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Objectives: People now make use of social media extensively, and posts receiving ‘likes’ and other kinds of validation influence the way we interact. In this study it was hypothesised that the way in which individuals use social media is related to their self-esteem and personality. Design: Data on validation in social media were collected via an online questionnaire posted on Facebook and Twitter. Methods: Three hundred and thirty one responses were collected from 111 males and 220 females ranging in age from 18 to 78. Respondents also completed the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and the Big Five personality Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999). Results: Factor Analysis of the validation questionnaire revealed a six factor solution accounting for 66% of the total variance. Factors were labelled ‘Effort’(asking or paying for likes), ‘Feeling Good’(validation affecting mood), ‘Manipulation (deleting unpopular posts), ‘Honesty’(accurate posting), ‘Blindness’ (blindly accepting friend requests) and ‘Positive postings’(upbeat posts), all of which defined the ways in which respondents used social media. Self-esteem was found to be negatively related to related the ‘effort’ factor, negatively related to the ‘manipulation’ factor and positively related to the ‘positive postings’ factor. In terms of personality, extraversion was related to the ‘honesty’ factor and conscientiousness negatively related to the ‘effort’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘blindness’ factors. Finally, neuroticism was negatively related to the ‘positive posting’ factor. Conclusions: This study indicates that the way people operate in social media is linked to personality and self-esteem.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventBritish Psychological Society Annual Conference 2017 - Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 May 20175 May 2017


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Annual Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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