People who are addicted to Facebook are more likely to be narcissists, new research finds.
The study followed the Facebook use of 179 German students over a year.
All were asked about their personalities and other aspects of their psychological life, like levels of depression and anxiety.
The results showed that people with narcissistic personalities were more likely to get addicted to Facebook.
The study’s authors write:
“Facebook use holds a particular meaning for narcissistic people.
On Facebook, they can quickly initiate many superficial relationships with new Facebook-friends and get a large audience for their well-planned self-presentation.
The more Facebook-friends they have, the higher is the possibility that they attain the popularity and admiration they are seeking; whereas in the offline world they might not be as popular since their interaction partners can quickly perceive their low agreeableness and exaggerated sense of self-importance.”
The researchers also found that Facebook addiction was linked to higher levels of depression and anxiety.
Whether people can really be ‘addicted’ to Facebook is still a controversial issue.
However, people addicted to Facebook typically show the six characteristics of addiction, the authors argue:
“FAD [Facebook Addiction Disorder] is defined by six typical characteristics of addiction disorders: salience (e.g., permanent thinking of Facebook use), tolerance (e.g., requiring increasing time on Facebook to achieve previous positive using effect), mood modification (e.g., mood improvement by Facebook use), relapse (reverting to earlier use pattern after ineffective attempts to reduce Facebook use), withdrawal symptoms (e.g., becoming nervous without possibility to use Facebook), and conflict (e.g., interpersonal problems caused by intensive Facebook use).”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Brailovskaia & Margraf, 2017).