The Psychological Benefits of Being Authentic on Facebook

Having others acknowledge and validate one’s true self is associated with better psychological health. Existing research indicates that an individual’s true self may be more readily expressed on Facebook than in person. This study brought together these two premises by investigating for the first time the psychosocial outcomes associated with communicating one’s true self on Facebook. Participants completed a personality assessment once as their true self and once as the self they present on Facebook (Facebook self), as well as measures of social connectedness, subjective well-being, depression, anxiety, and stress. Euclidean distances quantified the difference between one’s true self and the Facebook self. Hypotheses received partial support. Better coherence between the true self and the Facebook self was associated with better social connectedness and less stress. Two models provided evidence of mediation effects. Findings highlight that authentic self-presentation on Facebook can be associated with positive psychological outcomes.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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