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Effects Of Self-Monitoring and Public Self-Consciousness on Perceptions of Facebook Profiles

Author(s): Tara B. Gogolinski

Journal: Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Journal
ISSN 2165-7076

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Self-monitoring and public self-consciousness are two variables that contribute to self-presentation. Self-monitoring refers to self-observation and restraint that is guided by situational cues to social appropriateness (Snyder, 1974). Public self-consciousness is the consistent tendency of a person to direct attention outward, as well as the awareness a person has of being a social object (Nystedt & Ljungberg, 2002). To assess the relationship degree of self-monitoring and public self-consciousness has on the type of information Facebook users display on their own profiles and their perceptions of other Facebook profiles, 134 undergraduates (¬¬108 female, 26 male; 18 years or older) viewed two fictitious Facebook pages and their own Facebook pages. Facebook Page 1 was not very detailed and was cautious in the information it presented. In contrast, Facebook Page 2 was very detailed and generous in the information it presented. Participants answered a questionnaire comparing the two pages (e.g. type of information displayed, page preference, etc.), a questionnaire pertaining to their own Facebook page (type of information displayed, concern of audience, etc.), and completed the Self-Monitoring Scale (Snyder, 1974) and the Public Self-Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein, A., Sheier, M. F., & Buss, 1975). Overall, participants preferred mock Facebook Page 1; however, those who were high self-monitors preferred mock Facebook page 2. Additionally, participants agreed more with using Facebook in a limited way rather than using Facebook as a means of self-expression. Further research is needed to explore questions such as the possible implications of Facebook on communication, impression formation, and expressive behavior.
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