OMG! He Likes Me, He Really Likes Me
Albright College Research Reveals Connection Between Relationship-Contingent Self-Esteem and Facebook Activity
July 31, 2014
Reading, Pa. – Posting adorable couple photos and
saccharine-sweet shout-outs to your significant other on Facebook is one thing.
But new research
from Albright College has revealed that some lovebirds are using the popular
social media platform for more nefarious purposes, including bragging about
their romantic relationship and keeping tabs on their partner’s activities.
professor of psychology Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., working with now Albright alumna
Amanda Havens, surveyed Facebook users in romantic relationships and found that
those satisfied with their relationship are more likely to use Facebook to post
couple photos and details of their relationship, as well as affectionate
comments on their partner’s wall.
high in Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem (RCSE) – an unhealthy form of
self-esteem that depends on
how well your relationship is going – are also more likely to post
affectionate content. But these individuals also felt the need to brag about
their relationship to others and even monitor their boyfriend or girlfriend’s
Facebook activities. And for those high in RCSE, having something go wrong in the relationship is an
even bigger blow to their self-esteem than it would be for someone low in RCSE,
suggest that those high in RCSE feel a need to show others, their partners
and perhaps themselves that their relationship is ‘OK’ and, thus, they are OK,”
study, participants were asked to complete a survey about their Facebook
behaviors and motivations. Researchers also measured the Big Five personality
traits, which include openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness
and neuroticism. The findings were presented at the Society for Personality and Social
Psychology conference in Austin, Texas, and the Association for Psychological Science conference in San
Francisco, Calif., earlier this year.
the researchers, individuals high in neuroticism are also more likely to
use Facebook to monitor their partner and show off their relationship.
“This is what we expected, given that neurotic individuals are generally more
jealous in their romantic relationships,” said Seidman, who suggests these
individuals may use Facebook as a way to lessen their fears of rejection and
anxiety within the relationship.
researchers didn’t expect is that extraverts – of whom past research has shown
generally have more Facebook friends and are more active users – are less
likely to monitor their partners or make affectionate posts. Introverts,
however, are more likely to post affectionate content and are more likely to
snoop on their significant other.
in 1856, Albright College is a selective, national liberal arts college
enrolling 1,700 full-time undergraduates and more than 800 adult learners and
graduate students. The College’s flexible interdisciplinary curriculum,
strengthened by a close-knit residential learning environment, encourages
students to combine majors and disciplines to create individualized academic
programs. Close faculty mentorship, numerous experiential learning options, and
a diverse, supportive community of scholars and learners help students exceed
their own expectations and graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of service
and learning. Albright College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Albright College. A
Different Way of Thinking.