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Title:Self-presentation on social media – when self-enhancement confronts self-verification in a virtual public space
Author(s):Zheng, Anlan
Director of Research:Duff, Brittany
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Duff, Brittany
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Vargas, Patrick; Yao, Mike; Faber, Ron
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Discipline:Communications and Media
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social media, Self-enhancement, Self-verification, Self-presentation
Abstract:Social media has become an important part of people’s daily life. Every day people frequently switch between the physical world and the digital world created by social media. Recent research has examined the impact of social media on people’s self-evaluation (e.g. Valkenburg, Peter & Schouten, 2006; Vogel, Rose, Roberts & Eckles, 2014; Gonzales & Hancock, 2009). However, there has not been any research that examined this issue from the perspective of psychological motives – that is, what are the underlying motives that drive people to behave in such patterns? Understanding such psychological motives underlying people’s social media use is important because they affect how people evaluate themselves, which further drives their behavior on social media. Three studies reported here suggest that the public nature of social media influences self-enhancement and self-verification, which are two major psychological motives of people’s self-evaluation process. Specifically, it was found that when self-disclosing on social media, people tend to only self-enhance but not self-verify. In comparison, in the offline world, they both self-enhance and self-verify. Moreover, it was also found that on social media, people tend to only self-enhance but not self-verify with distant friends. However, they would like to both self-enhance and self-verify with close friends. In addition, implications of the findings in advertising industry are discussed.
Issue Date:2019-04-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Anlan Zheng
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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