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The interplay between Facebook use, social comparison, envy, and depression

Published on Jun 1, 2016in Current opinion in psychology
· DOI :10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.10.006
Helmut Appel2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Cologne),
Alexander L. Gerlach32
Estimated H-index: 32
(University of Cologne),
Jan Crusius13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Cologne)
Sources
Abstract
In their Facebook profiles, users communicate abundant social comparison information conveying mainly positive self-portrayals. Thereby, social networking sites like Facebook provide a fertile ground for envy. This has been proposed as a mechanism for the potential negative effects of Facebook use on well-being and depression. This article reviews research on this process. Studies show that (especially passive) Facebook use indeed predicts different measures of social comparison as well as envy. In several studies social comparison or envy mediate a positive association between Facebook use and undesirable affective outcomes such as depression. However, causal relationships have not yet been sufficiently established. Methodological and conceptual variety across studies limits their comparability, but reveals viable ideas for future research.
  • References (57)
  • Citations (64)
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References57
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Abstract People vary in their tendencies to compare themselves to others, an individual difference variable called social comparison orientation (SCO). Social networking sites provide information about others that can be used for social comparison. The goal of the present set of studies was to explore the relationship between SCO, Facebook use, and negative psychological outcomes. Studies 1a and 1b used correlational approaches and showed that participants high (vs. low) in SCO exhibited heavier...
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Positive emotions are more prevalent than negative emotions while browsing Facebook.Users are happier when a positive post comes from a strong tie rather than a weak tie.Similarly, users experience more benign envy when a post comes from a strong tie.The experience of malicious envy is independent of tie strength. On Facebook, users are exposed to posts from both strong and weak ties. Even though several studies have examined the emotional consequences of using Facebook, less attention has been ...
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#1Jens Lange (University of Cologne)H-Index: 40
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Envy stems from a social comparison with a superior standard. Its 2 distinct forms are directed at changing this situation in different ways, either by becoming as successful as the envied person (in benign envy) or by lowering the envied person's advantage (in malicious envy). In essence, envy is thus a social phenomenon. Nevertheless, most previous research has focused on its underlying intrapersonal processes, overlooking envy's interpersonal core. In contrast, we show in 6 studies (N = 1,513...
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