Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Communication

Date of Defense

4-5-2019

Graduate Advisor

Dr. Amber Reinhart

Co-Advisor

Dr. Yan Tian

Committee

Dr. Yan Tian

Dr. Amber Reinhart

Dr. Suahn Cho

Abstract

This thesis examines different types of Facebook users and how different types of participation on Facebook are associated with social comparison orientation scale and self-esteem level of the users, and how personality variables moderate the relationship between social comparison scale and types of Facebook use. Previous research has investigated the relationship between Facebook use, self-esteem, and social comparison; however, the results have been mixed, and research on how personality traits are related to different types of active use of Facebook is needed. Study 1 of this thesis examines how social comparison orientation and self-esteem relate to how individuals actively use Facebook, including proactive use and reactive use. Analysis of survey data from a convenient student sample suggests that while self-esteem is not related to proactive or reactive use of Facebook, comparison orientation is significantly associated with reactive use of Facebook. Number of friends is also found to be correlated with proactive and reactive use of Facebook. Study 2 tests personality variables from the Big Five model as moderators to better understand the relationship of social comparison orientation and Facebook user type along with the relationship between number of Facebook friends and Facebook user type. Analysis of survey data from a convenient student sample suggests that there is an interaction effect between social comparison orientation and neuroticism on reactive Facebook use. An interaction effect between number of Facebook friends and extraversion on reactive Facebook use was also found.

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