Vogel,Rose,Roberts, Eckles, 2014, “Social Comparison, Social Media and Self Esteem”

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Tags: self esteem, social comparison, online social networking, social media, social responses


Vogel, Eric, Jason Rose, Lindsay Roberts, and Katheryn Eckles. “Social Comparison, Social Media, and Self-Esteem.” American Psychological Association. N.p., Oct. 2014. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.


Social networking sites, also known as SNSs, are able to provide the consumption of social comparison. The overall purpose of the set of studies presented was to examine the impact of both constant and temporary use of social media based social comparison on one’s own self esteem. Broken down upon two studies, study 1 examines the how Facebook has been effecting may in terms of self-esteem. In study 2, an experimental approach examines the impact of only temporary exposure to social media sites such as Facebook on the way in which one thought of them. The results revealed that self-esteem was lower when a person’s online profile contained information regarding comparison.

  1. Quote: “As a consequence of chronic or temporary
    exposure to primarily upward social comparison
    information on social media, there could be
    a deleterious impact on people’s self-evaluations
    and self-esteem. In particular, we suggest
    that trait self-esteem may be affected by longterm
    exposure to social media in everyday life,
    while state self-esteem may be affected by incidental
    use (207).”
    Paraphase: Due the constant submission of social comparison because of social media sites, it has been believed that ones social comparisons and evaluations will take an impact on one’s own self-identity.
  2. Quote:“As prior research has shown that
    people tend to believe that other social media
    users have better lives than they do (Chou &
    Edge, 2012), it stands to reason that, all else
    equal, people who use Facebook most frequently
    should have the most exposure to
    such upward social comparisons.” (209)
    Paraphase: People who frequently have use to Facebook are those who most frequently have exposure to social comparing themselves to others.
  3. Quote: “That is participants who
    used Facebook the most tended to report a
    greater extent of both upward and downward
    social comparisons. However, consistent with
    our hypotheses, a paired samples t test
    showed that, on average, people reported
    more upward social comparisons on Facebook.” (210)
    Paraphase: The participants who took apart of the experiment tended to report a higher rate of social comparison, as predicted in the hypothesis stated in the introduction.
  4. Quote: “Our core hypothesis was that participants would
    have lower state self-esteem after temporary
    exposure to the upward comparison target than
    the downward comparison target. Recall that we
    also thought it was possible that the social network
    content manipulation might produce a
    stronger main effect difference than the user
    content manipulation.” (213)
    Paraphase: In the results and discussion section, the hypothesis is restated and confirms the fact that was once thought to be: the fact that social media is able to impact many in the way that it does in terms of self esteem.
    5.Quote: “In sum, it appeared that user content and, to a
    lesser extent, social network content both had
    an impact on how people judged themselves
    relative to the target person. In particular, as
    hypothesized, participants rated themselves
    more poorly than the target person both when
    the target person was healthy” (215)
    Paraphase: To sum up, the way in which users use the internet also impacts the way in which is able to socially compare. It was also seen that individuals were more likely to negatively target oneself when comparing there own selves to healthy individuals.

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