Event Title

Young Adults’ Perceptions of Socially Appropriate Behaviors on Social Media

Poster Number

018

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Rutledge

Start Date

20-4-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

20-3-2018 2:00 PM

Description

We investigated young adults’ perceptions of appropriate and inappropriate behavior on social media. Participants were men (n = 25) and women (n = 55) with a mean age of 19.93 (SD = 2.77). Fifty-seven percent of participants were Caucasian, 31% were African-American, and the remainder reported other ethnicities. Participants responded to scales that assessed social media stress, jealousy in everyday life, and social media investment. We also created a list of online behaviors (e.g., posting political opinions, arguing publicly with a friend) and asked participants to rate the social appropriateness of each behavior. Participants were asked to imagine being “the opposite sex” and to respond to the same behaviors from that imagined perspective. Last, we asked participants to rate the social appropriateness of the behaviors from the imagined perspective of the “average young adult.” Our results revealed that young adults perceived themselves as having higher standards for appropriateness in social media than they believed their peers had. Women seemed to be especially prone to this belief. Race did not predict appropriateness of behavior. Perhaps gender was a powerful variable because women use social media for different reasons than men do, whereas ethnicity does not drive the motivations behind social media use. Violating our expectations, jealousy made individuals rate more behaviors as acceptable. One possibility is that jealous individuals use social media to monitor others and appreciate finding extensive online information. These findings add to our understanding of this popular communication tool.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 2018

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Sleigh

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 20th, 12:00 PM Mar 20th, 2:00 PM

Young Adults’ Perceptions of Socially Appropriate Behaviors on Social Media

Rutledge

We investigated young adults’ perceptions of appropriate and inappropriate behavior on social media. Participants were men (n = 25) and women (n = 55) with a mean age of 19.93 (SD = 2.77). Fifty-seven percent of participants were Caucasian, 31% were African-American, and the remainder reported other ethnicities. Participants responded to scales that assessed social media stress, jealousy in everyday life, and social media investment. We also created a list of online behaviors (e.g., posting political opinions, arguing publicly with a friend) and asked participants to rate the social appropriateness of each behavior. Participants were asked to imagine being “the opposite sex” and to respond to the same behaviors from that imagined perspective. Last, we asked participants to rate the social appropriateness of the behaviors from the imagined perspective of the “average young adult.” Our results revealed that young adults perceived themselves as having higher standards for appropriateness in social media than they believed their peers had. Women seemed to be especially prone to this belief. Race did not predict appropriateness of behavior. Perhaps gender was a powerful variable because women use social media for different reasons than men do, whereas ethnicity does not drive the motivations behind social media use. Violating our expectations, jealousy made individuals rate more behaviors as acceptable. One possibility is that jealous individuals use social media to monitor others and appreciate finding extensive online information. These findings add to our understanding of this popular communication tool.