Contingencies of self-worth and social-networking-site behavior

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. Jan-Feb 2011;14(1-2):41-9. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0049. Epub 2010 Jun 24.


Social-networking sites like Facebook enable people to share a range of personal information with expansive groups of "friends." With the growing popularity of media sharing online, many questions remain regarding antecedent conditions for this behavior. Contingencies of self-worth afford a more nuanced approach to variable traits that affect self-esteem, and may help explain online behavior. A total of 311 participants completed an online survey measuring such contingencies and typical behaviors on Facebook. First, exploratory factor analyses revealed an underlying structure to the seven dimensions of self-worth. Public-based contingencies explained online photo sharing (β = 0.158, p < 0.01), while private-based contingencies demonstrated a negative relationship with time online (β = -0.186, p < 0.001). Finally, the appearance contingency for self-worth had the strongest relationship with the intensity of online photo sharing (β = 0.242), although no relationship was evident for time spent managing profiles.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Personality
  • Self Concept*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Environment*
  • Temperament
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Young Adult