New Study Says Facebook Can Boost Self-Esteem

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Looking at one’s own Facebook profile could boost self-esteem, a recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison pointed out as reported by LiveScience.

Catalina Toma, the assistant professor of communication arts who headed the study, examined Facebook users’ reactions and concluded that their self-esteem improved after looking at their own profiles for five minutes.

Toma said: “The Implicit Association Test removes this bias. If you have high self-esteem, then you can very quickly associate words related to yourself with positive evaluations, but have a difficult time associating words related to yourself with negative evaluations. But if you have low self-esteem, the opposite is true.”

Although Facebook users may feel great about themselves after  alook at their own profiles, the same study pointed out that Facebook browsing could also impact productivity. When compared to other subjects who did not look at Facebook, that self-esteem boost didn’t help the Facebook users to finish a set of math questions presented to them on time.

Toma explained the discrepancy: “If you already feel good about yourself because you looked at your Facebook profile, there is no psychological need to increase your self-worth by doing well in a laboratory task.”

She stressed that the study doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook is hindering academic performance and that further research is needed to understand how looking at other friends’ profiles and pages can affect their behavior. However, recent studies point out how that certain behaviors correlate to Facebook use, including how it’s linked to depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem.

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