Using Facebook to self-enhance: narcissism and psychological outcomes

Assignment type: Thesis
Author: Camellia Kojouri
Submitted: June 2015


This thesis explores adolescents’ use of social networking sites and associated psychological outcomes. A systematic review of the literature in the field revealed some positive, and some negative relations between online social networking and indicators of psychological wellbeing. Research into motives underpinning Facebook use is in its infancy, however, emergent findings suggest that motives for using social networking sites may influence psychological wellbeing more than the specific online behaviours themselves. This chapter is supplemented with a narrative overview of the literature exploring consequences of Facebook use on academic outcomes.

The empirical study explores the relationship between narcissism, Facebook use, motives for Facebook use, and psychological indicators among a sample of adolescents in the UK. A sample of 218 adolescents, aged 13-18 years, completed an online survey and the data were analysed using a correlational design. The findings show that narcissism was positively related to Facebook use. Different motives for using Facebook were also related to narcissism, such that narcissists used Facebook to fulfil self-enhancement, as opposed to affiliative motives. Moreover, these self-enhancement motives mediated the relationship between narcissism and indicators of wellbeing; high narcissists were more likely to pursue self-enhancement goals, leading to reduced satisfaction with life, less positive relations with others, and higher levels of depression. Implications are discussed, particularly in relation to the importance of exploring motives for online behaviours.

Download thesis (PDF) via ePrints Soton