Research Project Title

Friendships, Networks, and Moods

Session Type

Traditional Paper Presentation

Research Project Abstract

During the Spring 2017, we were shown a study done at Harvard University that found a correlation between certain aspects and characteristics of Instagram accounts and depression. In the original study by Reece et al (2016), a link was found between a past diagnosis of major depressive disorder (confirmed by an outside psychologist or psychiatrist) and the use of Instagram’s Inkwell filter (turns a photo black and white) and fewer faces in a photograph. In our modified – and simplified – version of this study, we set out to look at the connection and any possible correlations between Instagram accounts and an increased risk of depression, loneliness, and perceived social support based on key Instagram indicators (color filtration and face count). Participants were 60 students from the participant pool at Gonzaga University. When participants first arrived, they were followed on Instagram. Next, participants were administered the CES-D (depression), UCLA Loneliness Scale, and the MSPSS (perceived social support). Finally, we coded each participants' last 20 photos from the past 12 months (1,200 total photographs) for: a) color filtration (lack of color and/or black-and-white); b) number of faces in each photo. We found a positive correlation between increased levels of social support and the number of faces appearing in photographs on an Instagram profile, p = .034, 95% CI [.034, .805]. While we did not find any other significantly statistical differences, our data for loneliness and depression shows signs of leaning toward statistical differences. Given a larger sample, these results may have come to fruition. After scoring and finding the averages for the CES-D, UCLA Loneliness Scale, and MSPSS, we found that our sample was overall depressed, slightly lonely, but highly socially supported. There was a positive correlation found between the number of faces in a photograph and level of perceived social support. We were, however, limited by a rather small sample size. Additionally, it is worth noting we were unable to replicate the main results of the Harvard University study.

Session Number

RS2

Location

Weyerhaeuser 204

Abstract Number

RS2-b

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COinS
 
Apr 28th, 9:15 AM Apr 28th, 10:45 AM

Friendships, Networks, and Moods

Weyerhaeuser 204

During the Spring 2017, we were shown a study done at Harvard University that found a correlation between certain aspects and characteristics of Instagram accounts and depression. In the original study by Reece et al (2016), a link was found between a past diagnosis of major depressive disorder (confirmed by an outside psychologist or psychiatrist) and the use of Instagram’s Inkwell filter (turns a photo black and white) and fewer faces in a photograph. In our modified – and simplified – version of this study, we set out to look at the connection and any possible correlations between Instagram accounts and an increased risk of depression, loneliness, and perceived social support based on key Instagram indicators (color filtration and face count). Participants were 60 students from the participant pool at Gonzaga University. When participants first arrived, they were followed on Instagram. Next, participants were administered the CES-D (depression), UCLA Loneliness Scale, and the MSPSS (perceived social support). Finally, we coded each participants' last 20 photos from the past 12 months (1,200 total photographs) for: a) color filtration (lack of color and/or black-and-white); b) number of faces in each photo. We found a positive correlation between increased levels of social support and the number of faces appearing in photographs on an Instagram profile, p = .034, 95% CI [.034, .805]. While we did not find any other significantly statistical differences, our data for loneliness and depression shows signs of leaning toward statistical differences. Given a larger sample, these results may have come to fruition. After scoring and finding the averages for the CES-D, UCLA Loneliness Scale, and MSPSS, we found that our sample was overall depressed, slightly lonely, but highly socially supported. There was a positive correlation found between the number of faces in a photograph and level of perceived social support. We were, however, limited by a rather small sample size. Additionally, it is worth noting we were unable to replicate the main results of the Harvard University study.