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Social networks may inflate self-esteem, reduce self-control
Date:1/14/2013

study, examined the relationship between online social network use and offline behaviors associated with poor self-control. Participants completed a survey asking about their height and weight, the number of credit cards they own and the amount of debt on them, and how many friends they have offline, among other questions. "The results suggest that greater social network use is associated with a higher body-mass index, increased binge eating, a lower credit score, and higher levels of credit-card debt for individuals with strong ties to their social network," the researchers wrote.

Stephen and Wilcox say the five studies have implications for policy makers because self-control is an important mechanism for maintaining social order and well-being. "It would be worthwhile for researchers and policy makers to further explore social network use in order to better understand which consumers may be particularly vulnerable to suffering negative psychological or social consequences," the authors wrote.

The paper, published online in November, is scheduled for publication in the June 2013 print edition of the Journal of Consumer Research. Stephen and Wilcox are contemplating a future inquiry into social networks and behavior that would address the long-term effects of Facebook on users. "It would be interesting," they wrote, "to explore the persistence of the effect of browsing Facebook over time."


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Contact: Evan Nowell
egn2109@columbia.edu
212-851-9147
Columbia Business School
Source:Eurekalert

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