2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Following Social Media Accounts and Orientations to Happiness


Allison R. Rice*, Brianna Cermak, and William T. Leach
Dr. Karen Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Recent research has shown that social media usage is associated with life satisfaction (eg. Yang & Srinivasan, 2016), but there is still much to be understood about how an individual’s personal values can affect their interpretation of social media. Sixteen simulated social media posts represented the categories of happiness of the Orientation to Happiness (OTH) scale: meaning, engagement, or pleasure. Participants (N=159) used the OTH scale to determine their happiness orientation and indicated if they would follow each simulated post. An individual's happiness orientation and likelihood of following the corresponding social media account had a weak but significant positive correlation, where pleasure was the highest ((158) = 0.305, p < 0.001) and engagement was the lowest (r(158) = 0.217, p<0.001). An individual’s happiness orientation plays a role in their view of others on social media, slightly increasing their likelihood of following others’ posts if modeled after that certain orientation. 

Keywords: psychology, social media, happiness, engagement, meaning, pleasure

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 7-5
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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