Correlates of Facebook Use: Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Social Media Addiction

(Lab Report for a Social Psychology Study)

IMAGE: Person using Facebook on their mobile device to give a ‘love’ reaction to a post. © Adobe Stock.

Abstract

Facebook has become a popular social networking site (SNS) used by many. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between Facebook use (FU) and extraversion, neuroticism, and social media addiction (SMA). Participants were a community sample of 852 individuals recruited via online survey distribution. They completed this approximately 20-minute survey online. Results demonstrated that both extraversion and SMA were positively correlated with FU, whereas neuroticism was not correlated with FU. However, an alternative explanation of lack of social connection may be responsible for these correlations, and environmental factors may be responsible for there being no relationship with neuroticism.

Introduction

Facebook is the most popular SNS in the world, with over 2,740 million users (Statista, 2021). It is a relatively new way of sharing information and interacting with others that brings with it many benefits and concerns (Wilson et al., 2012). It enables one to build and maintain social relationships, while engaging in content that varies depending on their individual differences, and it is these differences in personality traits that could be a cause of addiction to the platform (van der Schyff et al., 2020). The aim of this study was to explore the correlations between FU and the personality traits of extraversion and neuroticism, along with SMA.

Method

Participants

Participants were recruited through online survey distribution. The community sample included 852 (545 female, 289 male, 15 non-binary, 3 other-identifying) with a mean age of 28.94 years (SD = 13.98).

Procedure

The study was a part of a broader questionnaire that was conducted as part of a second-year undergraduate psychology course. The survey was distributed primarily through posting links to the online survey in a variety of personality typology Facebook groups. Participants completed the questionnaire online through the Qualtrics survey platform. Completing the survey took approximately 20 minutes. It was open for approximately one week and closed on 2 April 2021. It involved participants filling in demographic information and then responding to 86 items that corresponded with FU and 21 other variables.

Measures

Extraversion

Results

Pearson’s correlation coefficient values for each variable were calculated for their relationship to FU and tested for statistical significance, results shown in Table 1. Extraversion was found to have a small to moderate significant positive correlation with FU (p < .001). Neuroticism was not found to be correlated with FU (p = .326). SMA was found to have a small to moderate significant positive correlation with FU (p < .001).

Discussion

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between FU and extraversion, neuroticism, and SMA. It was predicted that extraversion, neuroticism, and SMA would all be positively correlated with FU.

References

Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Wainapel, G., & Fox, S. (2002). “On the internet no one knows I’m an introvert”: Extroversion, neuroticism, and internet interaction. CyberPsychology & Behaviour, 5(2), 125–128. https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/10.1089/109493102753770507