RESEARCH ARTICLE

Visual Social Media Use Moderates the Relationship between Initial Problematic Internet Use and Later Narcissism

The Open Psychology Journal 18 Oct 2018 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350101811010163

Abstract

Background:

Little is known about the temporal directionality of relationships between problematic internet use and personality disorders such as narcissism.

Objective:

Although these two constructs are related at a single time, no existent study has determined whether initial problematic internet use is more strongly associated with subsequent narcissism, or vice versa. So, the aim of the research is to verify if problematic internet use predicts the narcissism or vice versa.

Methods:

Seventy-four university student participants were studied over a four-month period, and completed the Narcissism Personality Inventory, and Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire, at baseline and follow-up.

Results:

The results demonstrated a relationship between problematic internet use and narcissism at baseline. Time-lagged correlations demonstrated that problematic internet use at baseline was positively related to narcissism four-months later, but not vice versa for social media users whose use was primarily visual. This relationship did not hold for social media users whose use was primarily verbal.

Conclusion:

These results suggest that problematic internet use may serve to discharge narcissistic personality traits for those who use social media in a visual way, but not for those who do not engage in that form of internet use.

Keywords: Narcissism, Longitudinal study, Facebook, Instagram, Social media, PIU.
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