(Close Window)
Topic: Interesting Study About Facebook Users
Message: Posted by: John Martin (Sep 10, 2010 11:36AM)
Facebook lures narcissistic, insecure: study

Tue Sep 7, 6:30 PM

By Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

A new study of Canadian university students suggests Facebook is a magnet for narcissists and people with low self-esteem.

Participants who were deemed narcissistic, and others shown to have low self-esteem, spent more time on the massively popular social-networking website, the York University research found.

Researcher Soraya Mehdizadeh also found that these people use Facebook as a means of self-promotion.

Mehdizadeh admits the sample group of just 100 participants from such a specific demographic doesn't necessarily reflect everybody who uses Facebook.

But she expects the findings to prompt the site's users, who number roughly 16 million in Canada, to take a closer look at themselves — and their Facebook "friends."

"I think people get sort of defensive about it, like: 'I don't use my Facebook for that reason' — because it's a label that you don't want to be slapped with," she said Tuesday in an interview.

"I don't know if self-fulfilling prophecy is the word, but it's sort of like you've been believing it at the back of your head . . . and it's like, 'I knew they were a narcissist.' "

The surveys studied the online habits and personalities of 50 female and 50 male Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 25.

Participants, all York students, took psychological tests that measured their sense of self-esteem and assessed their levels of narcissism. Sections of their Facebook pages were also examined.

The study defined narcissism as a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

Self-esteem was identified as a person's overall self-evaluation or their worth.

Students who scored lower on the self-esteem scale, as well as those rated higher on the narcissism test, were correlated with a greater number of Facebook checks per day and more time spent on it.

The surveys were conducted two years ago. The findings, published last month in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, also suggest differences between the men and women who use Facebook.

The women surveyed were more likely to self-promote through a carefully selected main photo that might offer a flashy, doctored or revealing image of their physical appearance.

Male participants promoted themselves more though written postings describing themselves in the "About Me" or "Notes" sections.

"It's really interesting to look at the differences between the online self and the off-line self and to sort of bridge the gap between the two," Mehdizadeh said of the research, part of her undergraduate thesis.

She painted Facebook as an ideal setting for narcissists who can monitor how many "friends" they have.

It can also serve as a "social lubricant" for those with low self-esteem, since it's so easy for them to connect with so many people.

For example, Facebook friends can boost the confidence of someone who doesn't feel good about their physical appearance by posting flattering comments on photos, she added.

"That's obviously something that might help someone deal with their low self-esteem," said Mehdizadeh, who is now preparing for medical school.

"If (Facebook) would improve their self-esteem, what great benefits that would have to the health and well-being of people who use the site."

Facebook said in July that it had 500 million users worldwide, up from the 250 million users it had the year before.

Canada eclipsed the 16-million users mark in May, according to research firm Inside Network.

Does this mean that everyone who spends more than three hours a day on Facebook is narcissitic or has low self-esteem?

"Maybe not," Mehdizadeh says.

"But what this study does meaningfully achieve, in my opinion, is a contribution to the already existing literature."

Still, questions remain in a relatively new area of psychology, she added.

"Is it that narcissists are more likely to use Facebook, or people who use Facebook are more likely to become narcissists?"
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Sep 10, 2010 12:12PM)
This is a surprise?

Narcissists want/need attention. Thus they seek to be at the center of a group. facebook provides them this.

The insecure require the fairly constant reinforcement of a close circle of people who are going to agree with you and tell you you are good/are doing the right things. Facebook provides this too.

I'd love to see the same study, however, of, say, very church-oriented people. I'm willing to bet money it comes out similarly.
Message: Posted by: Olympic Adam (Sep 10, 2010 12:25PM)
Simple things for simple people, if only people could use the brain they have and believe in themselves!

I have many views on facebook and on religion in general, this isn't the place for them and I don't have time to tell it all!

thanks for the study
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 10, 2010 12:38PM)
Now, what about all the miscreants at the Magic Café?

Message: Posted by: landmark (Sep 10, 2010 01:33PM)
I demand they study us!
Message: Posted by: acesover (Sep 10, 2010 01:55PM)
On 2010-09-10 13:38, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Now, what about all the miscreants at the Magic Café?


I vote this for best post of the year on "The Café".
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Sep 10, 2010 02:04PM)
You got my vote too. :)
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Sep 10, 2010 02:17PM)
I don't have time to comment really... I'm too busy on Facebook! :P
Message: Posted by: Olympic Adam (Sep 10, 2010 02:18PM)
Only reason I post here is so all you guys can look at my picture, makes me feel wanted
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Sep 10, 2010 02:30PM)
On 2010-09-10 13:38, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Now, what about all the miscreants at the Magic Café?


Certainly, those of us who are regulars in NVMS have at least one think in common with the Facebookers - way too much free time!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 10, 2010 02:34PM)
They didn't mention those of us on face book who have no freakin' clue how it works, who can see what, and why people say things like "Horrible. I can't believe this happened today" and then leave it hanging and never explain. If not for getting to see the occassional cool photo of a Higley Zibit I'd avoid it.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 14, 2010 07:11AM)
My limited list of facebook 'friends' are narrowky selected performers ONLY. It allows me to connect with performers in all kinds of arenas of entertainment I am interested in from magicians to Jugglers to Burlesque and to connect with folks I lost track of over the years. It also acts as a viable Marketing tool within that community. ie: pays the rent. I am also in daily contact with a few favorite authors and filmakers on a personal level which is an enhancement of my entertainment and knowledge while I work. Narcissist my butt...it's business. (and fun)
Soraya Mehdizadeh seems to have "no freakin' clue how it works either." or at least what it can be. :)

Oh yeah...and it's a great way to stay in touch with the vast population banned from the Café. ;-)
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Sep 16, 2010 05:40PM)
Ditto what Doug said. I have a small list, barely over 100...I at least can say that I know everyone on my list at a professional or personal level. I've added a small handful of other people that I've known by proxy over the years, after they sent me a friend request. I've found that they usually end up deleting me from their friends list because they're offended by something I say...maybe that's why you should only keep it with people you know?
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 16, 2010 05:48PM)
No one accepts me as a friend....I want to be Dougs friend but I don't have talent.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Sep 16, 2010 05:58PM)
Sure you do, your talent is being crotchety. Everyone loves the crotchety one.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Sep 16, 2010 06:26PM)
Hey don't knock it. Walter Brennan made a career of crotchety.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 16, 2010 07:07PM)
I am not crotchety! I can't even see my crotch!

Hey Landmark, I have a boat load of your people (New Yorkers) coming to see me in the next two weeks so I get to play tour guide! This is how it goes:
Me" This is where Mark Twain worked for the news paper before heading to California"
NYC'ers "Mak Twain? Dat mutha @%##$@ wouldn't be a janitor at the news papahs in New York"
Me "The entire city of Virginia City is a historic landmark and it appears pretty much as it did back in the 1860s"
NYC'ers "Youse call dis a city? My block is biggah! Youze guys don't know a city, New York, dats a city"
me: "Fine, I'll take you down and show you the brothels that were on HBO, that is where the hookers are"
NYC'ers "Hookers, youse never been to my school when I was a kid, we had goils they was hookers only ya didn't have to pay 'em if ya get my drift...badaboom bada bing"
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 16, 2010 10:19PM)
If you find me on facebook, Santa, I'll befriend you.

Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 16, 2010 10:27PM)
How would you know it is me?
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 16, 2010 10:36PM)
I would guess.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 16, 2010 10:38PM)
Not much of a guesser, I've already seen your facebook...neener neener.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 16, 2010 10:41PM)
Ha. The joke's on you. It's pretty much empty.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 16, 2010 10:58PM)
I see thou amongst the people
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 17, 2010 04:39AM)
Since your both on my list, you already know each other...just that 'santa' isn't a pain in the butt there, so is unrecognizable. :)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 17, 2010 05:57AM)
True, in real life I'm a gentleman at all times.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Sep 17, 2010 07:41AM)
I had to satisfy my curiousity and look through Doug's friend list, no clue who Santa might be lol.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Sep 17, 2010 11:48AM)
Well ***...Doug isn't my friend and he isn't coming up in the searches. I'll have to continue imagining Santa as an anthropomorphic rabbit coming out of a hat. Which is disturbing enough in and of itself. :)
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 17, 2010 11:58AM)
But she expects the findings to prompt the site's users, who number roughly 16 million in Canada, to take a closer look at themselves [/quote]

This seems really funny to me for some reason.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 17, 2010 04:47PM)
I happen to be a wonderful human everywhere else that is why I am not recognized. One of the funniest thing is there is one person here who I told who I was (I tell anyone who asks) who still doesn't believe I am me.

I'm just a lil' nobody crawling on the planet like everyone else.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Sep 18, 2010 06:57AM)
If you told them you were really Santa I wouldn't beleive you either.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 18, 2010 11:27AM)
I don't claim to be Santa.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Sep 18, 2010 12:46PM)
He's not Santa and he's not Spartacus either.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 18, 2010 01:24PM)
I am....Leonard Kobal.