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Thesis

The relationship between social media use and perceptions of body image

1 January 2016

Abstract

The present study is an examination of the potential relationship between social media use and the self-perception of body image. Further, this study is an exploration of how social media and body image factors differ by personality type. Participants completed a series of online questionnaires about their social media use, self-perceived body image (as measured by the Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire; MBSRQ), and personality structure (as measured by NEO-PI-R items from the International Personality Item Pool). The results of this study indicated no significant relationship between overall social media use and body image variables, but did show a significant relationship between the amount of use of certain forms of social media and “certain” body image variables. Results also revealed significant differences in overweight preoccupation between those who followed health-related and Inspirational/Poetry Instagram accounts. With regards to personality variables, results of this study revealed a relationship between daily Facebook use and levels of extroversion and also Twitter use and levels of agreeableness.


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