Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

Social Psychology of Facebook

The California Aggie published a news story by Kelsie Ozamiz (from Ohio State University’s The Lantern) on the psychology of Facebook users. “Facebook affects happiness, study says” (2/9/2012). The article cites this study from the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking:

“They Are Happier and Having Better Lives than I Am”: The Impact of Using Facebook on Perceptions of Others’ Lives

Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge and. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. doi:10.1089/cyber.2011.0324.


Facebook, as one of the most popular social networking sites among college students, provides a platform for people to manage others’ impressions of them. People tend to present themselves in a favorable way on their Facebook profile. This research examines the impact of using Facebook on people’s perceptions of others’ lives. It is argued that those with deeper involvement with Facebook will have different perceptions of others than those less involved due to two reasons. First, Facebook users tend to base judgment on examples easily recalled (the availability heuristic). Second, Facebook users tend to attribute the positive content presented on Facebook to others’ personality, rather than situational factors (correspondence bias), especially for those they do not know personally. Questionnaires, including items measuring years of using Facebook, time spent on Facebook each week, number of people listed as their Facebook “friends,” and perceptions about others’ lives, were completed by 425 undergraduate students taking classes across various academic disciplines at a state university in Utah. Surveys were collected during regular class period, except for two online classes where surveys were submitted online. The multivariate analysis indicated that those who have used Facebook longer agreed more that others were happier, and agreed less that life is fair, and those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives. Furthermore, those that included more people whom they did not personally know as their Facebook “friends” agreed more that others had better lives.

The University Library subscribes to this journal, and collects in this area in the service of growing interest among faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates examining the social and psychological life of internet users.

Other journals covering this subject include:

New Media & Society

Computers in Human Behavior

Information, Communication & Society


Social Science Computer Review

Some recent books include:

The Oxford handbook of Internet psychology / edited by Adam N. Joinson … [et al.].
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2007.
Shields Library HM1017 .O94 2007 Regular Loan

Psychological aspects of cyberspace : theory, research, applications / edited by Azy Barak.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Shields Library HM1017 .P79 2008 Regular Loan

The social net : understanding human behavior in cyberspace / edited by Yair Amichai-Hamburger.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2005.
Shields Library HM1017 .S62 2005 Regular Loan

Newslore : contemporary folklore on the Internet / Russell Frank.
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, c2011.
Call no. Shields Library PS439 .F73 2011 Regular Loan

The Internet in everyday life / edited by Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite.
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2002.
Shields Library HM851 .I58 2002 Regular Loan

iPolitics : citizens, elections, and governing in the new media era / [edited by] Richard L. Fox, Jennifer M. Ramos.
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Shields Library JK1764 .I75 2012 At UC Bindery

The net delusion : the dark side of internet freedom / Evgeny Morozov.
New York : Public Affairs, c2011.

Media perspectives for the 21st century / edited by Stylianos Papathanassopoulos.
Abingdon, Oxon ; New York : Routledge, 2011.
Shields Library P90 .M3679 2011 Regular Loan

Lanier, Jaron.
You are not a gadget : a manifesto / Jaron Lanier.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Shields Library HM851 .L358 2010 Regular Loan

Facebook and philosophy : what’s on your mind? / edited by D.E. Wittkower.
Chicago : Open Court, c2010.
Shields Library HM742 .F33 2010 Regular Loan

Computer-mediated communication in personal relationships / edited by Kevin B. Wright & Lynne M. Webb.
New York : Peter Lang, c2011.
Shields Library HM742 .C65 2011 Regular Loan

The tuning of place : sociable spaces and pervasive digital media / Richard Coyne.
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2010.
Shields Library QA76.5915 .C695 2010 Regular Loan

Interested in researching scholarly material on the social and psychological aspects of online social networks? Contact Social and Cultural Studies Librarian, David Michalski

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.