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Monday, 29 September 2014 14:29

Facebook relationship posters are least secure

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You know those couples that post all over Facebook about how 'in love' they are? A scientific study has determined they're likely anxious about their partner's feelings.

The study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin journal, looked into what it called "relationship visibility".

Lydia Emery, a PhD student at Northwestern University, surveyed a group of 108 couples from a small university in Canada.

Each partner was to keep a daily diary for two weeks documenting their feelings about the relationship. Then, the researchers looked at how each partner interacted with each other on Facebook and found that the numbers began to correlate when the diary would reveal insecure feelings and a Facebook post that followed.

It found the couples that posted the most about their relationship are in fact the ones most insecure about their relationship.

But "on a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner's feelings, they tended to make their relationships visible", which we can assume includes on social media.

"People often attempt to shape others’ perceptions of them, but the role of romantic relationships in this process is unknown," Emery said.

"The present set of studies investigates relationship visibility, the centrality of relationships in the self-images that people convey to others. We propose that attachment underlies relationship visibility and test this hypothesis across three studies in the context of Facebook. Avoidant individuals showed low desire for relationship visibility, whereas anxious individuals reported high desired visibility (Studies 1 and 2); however, similar motives drove both groups’ actual relationship visibility (Study 1).

"Moreover, both avoidant individuals and their partners were less likely to make their relationships visible (Studies 1 and 3). On a daily basis, when people felt more insecure about their partner’s feelings, they tended to make their relationships visible (Study 3). These studies highlight the role of relationships in how people portray themselves to others."

For more, see the Journal article here.

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