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Study: Facebook photo sharing reflects focus on female appearance
Date:3/7/2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In a new study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, University at Buffalo researcher Michael A. Stefanone, PhD, and colleagues found that females who base their self worth on their appearance tend to share more photos online and maintain larger networks on online social networking sites.

He says the results suggest that females identify more strongly with their image and appearance, and use Facebook as a platform to compete for attention.

Stefanone describes the study results in a video interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1GQHoLyS5Q&feature=relmfu.

"The results suggest persistent differences in the behavior of men and women that result from a cultural focus on female image and appearance," he says.

The study, "Contingencies of Self-Worth and Social-Networking-Site Behavior," was co-authored by Derek Lackaff, PhD, University of Texas, Austin, and Devan Rosen, PhD, University of Hawaii, Manoa. It appeared in the journal's current issue.

Its purpose was to investigate variables that explain specific online behavior on social network sites. Among other things, the team looked at the amount of time subjects spent managing profiles, the number of photos they shared, the size of their online networks and how promiscuous they were in terms of "friending" behavior.

The contingencies, measured by the widely used CSW Scale (contingences of self worth) developed by Crocker and Wolfe, are important internal and external sources of self-esteem, hypothesized in previous research and theory to affect an individual's sense of self worth.

Stefanone's study found that contingencies of self-worth explain much of the social behavior enacted online.

In the study, 311 participants with an average age of 23.3 years -- 49.8 percent of whom were female -- completed a questionnaire measuring their con
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Contact: Patricia Donovan
pdonovan@buffalo.edu
716-645-4602
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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