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

tingencies of self worth. The subjects were also queried as to their typical behaviors on Facebook.

"Those whose self esteem is based on public-based contingencies (defined here as others' approval, physical appearance and outdoing others in competition) were more involved in online photo sharing, and those whose self-worth is most contingent on appearance have a higher intensity of online photo sharing," Stefanone says.

Stefanone notes that the women in this study who base their self worth on appearance were also are the most prolific photo sharers

"Participants whose self worth is based on private-based contingencies (defined in this study as academic competence, family love and support, and being a virtuous or moral person)," says Stefanone, "spend less time online." For these people, social media are less about attention seeking behavior.

Stefanone says, "Contingencies on which people assess their self worth represent a new approach to understanding how personal identities are developed and maintained. This study provides a framework for future explorations of identity construction, social interaction and media use in a rapidly changing communication environment."

Although it's stereotypical and might have been predicted," he says, "it is disappointing to me that in the year 2011 so many young women continue to assert their self worth via their physical appearance -- in this case, by posting photos of themselves on Facebook as a form of advertisement. Perhaps this reflects the distorted value pegged to women's looks throughout the popular culture and in reality programming from 'The Bachelor' to 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians.'"

Stefanone's research emphasis is on group-level, computer-mediated communication (CMC), distributed groups and Internet-based communication tools like social networking sites. He also explores novel uses of CMC technologies like blogs and social network sites, and the effects these tools have on inte
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Contact: Patricia Donovan
pdonovan@buffalo.edu
716-645-4602
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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