Women who base their self-worth on their looks publish more photos and maintain larger social networks on Facebook.
The study appeared in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking; lead researcher Michael A.Stefanone, of the University of Buffalo created a video synopsis of the findings that you can see at the bottom of this post. Like he says in the footage:
We were interested in seeing if these stereotypes of self-worth persisted online, and if so, how that’s affecting people’s behavior. While men tend to base their self-worth on competition and achievement, women are more inclined to base their self-worth on their appearance… It’s disappointing to me that in the year 2011 so many young women continue to assert their self worth via their physical appearance — in this case, by posting photos of themselves on Facebook as a form of advertisement.
Stefanone’s paper suggests persistent behavioral differences between men and women when posting pictures results from a cultural focus on female image and appearance. The research involved polling 311 23-year-olds about their Facebook activities, with questions that focused the amount of time people spend managing their profiles and befriending other people — plus what kinds of pictures they post and how many. Participants were also queried on self-worth issues, and the study found that women who base their self-worth on appearance also share the most photos.
The study also found that people whose self-worth is based on more private contingencies such as academic competence, family love and support, and being a virtuous and moral person, spend less time online than their more attention seeking peers. All of these findings seem rather obvious, but perhaps the point of the study was to see whether the online world mirrors what happens offline.
What do you think of this study’s findings?