Social Comparison, Envy and Indirect Aggression amongst High Facebook Users

Amna Shahid (BS, 2014-2018) Supervisors: Zainab Javed & Rafia Rafique, PhD

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan

Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: chairperson@appsy.pu.edu.pk, Phone: 92-42-9231245

Abstract:

Facebook is one of the well-known online platforms being utilized for offering content and media to different users helpfully. In Facebook profiles, users impart copious social comparison data passing on mostly positive self-depictions. In this way, long range interpersonal communication locales like Facebook give a rich ground to envy. This present study examined the influence of high Facebook usage on social comparison, envy and indirect aggression of university students. Cross- sectional Correlation research design was used with sample consisted of 200 students (women = 116 and men = 84) selected from different universities of Lahore using purposive sampling technique. The age  range of the students was 18 years to 24 years (M = 21.15, SD = 1.37). Social Comparison Scale (SCS; Allan & Gilbert, 1995), Dispositional Envy Scale (DES; Smith – 1999), and Indirect aggression scale (IAS-A; Forrest et al., 2005) were used for assessment. The data were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlation, linear regression, independent sample t-test and one way ANOVA. The results showed that there were significant positive relationship between social comparison, envy and indirect aggression. The findings of the present research highlighted the fact that those who compare themselves with others have envious  feelings resulting into indirect aggression. Moreover, envy positively predicted indirect aggression along with its subscales (Social exclusionary, Malicious Humor & Guilt Induction). Gender had a positive relationship with social comparison and negative relationship with envy and indirect aggression with its dimensions. Regional Affiliation has significant differences in envy and indirect aggression with its dimensions (social exclusionary, guilt induction and malicious humor). People living in rural areas had more envious feelings and show more indirect aggression as compared to people living in urban areas. There were significant differences in showing indirect aggression between birth-order (first, middle and last order). This research have many implications for practice, especially in education sectors while sharing pros and cons of overuse of social networking sites. The findings of this research are helpful to develop insight in our society about the critical issues of comparison leading to envy and resulting into indirect aggression.

Keywords:    Social comparison, envy, indirect aggression, university students, Facebook users.

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