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Regular version of the site

Article

Do personality characteristics explain the associations between self-esteem and online social networking behaviour?

Computers in Human Behavior. 2019. Vol. 91. P. 17-23.

The relationships between online social networking (OSN) behaviour and users’ self-esteem are as important as well as ambiguous: Both positive and negative self-esteem can encourage users to engage in OSNs.  This work examined whether personality traits and attitudes toward traits can explain this controversy.  Data from 830 users of a local OSN were analysed.  I hypothesised that extraversion and attitudes toward extraversion eliminated correlations between positive self-esteem and users’ popularity (the number of friends and likes).  In contrast, neuroticism and attitudes toward neuroticism failed to eliminate a negative correlation between self-esteem and an indicator of users’ self-validation (the number of impersonal avatars).  This association also remained significant when conscientiousness as well as negative attitudes toward conscientiousness and agreeableness were controlled.  However, self-esteem did not correlate with the two other self-validation indicators―the number of posts and portraits.  This study casts doubt on the possibility of direct associations between positive self-esteem and users’ popularity beyond such factors as extraversion.  Nevertheless, it lends partial support to the association between negative self-esteem and users’ self-validation such as the use of impersonal avatars even when other personality characteristics are considered.