Author Information

Elizabeth Gallinari


Social comparison theory describes how people self-evaluate themselves based on social comparisons to others. The current research investigated whether receiving more “likes” on social media than someone else will cause women to feel better about themselves, whereas receiving fewer “likes” will cause them to feel worse. Previous research has shown that social comparisons using social media, specifically Facebook, does affect levels of self-worth. Research regarding Instagram is limited, which is why it is the focus of this current research. The study included 124 participants, all of whom were women aged 18 to 25. The study consisted of two conditions featuring a manipulated Instagram post. After exposure to the manipulated post, the participants were asked to view a recent post on their Instagram and note the number of “likes,” which was intended to create a social comparison. The participants completed the State Self-Esteem scale to measure feelings of self-esteem. The results showed that comparing “likes” on Instagram did not significantly affect levels of self-esteem. There was a small, positive correlational relationship found between the participants’ own number of “likes” and their levels of appearance self-esteem.

Note on the Author

Elizabeth Gallinari is majoring in Psychology and plans to graduate in the spring of 2018. Her research project was completed for her research methods class, under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Ramsey (Psychology).

Rights Statement

Articles published in The Undergraduate Review are the property of the individual contributors and may not be reprinted, reformatted, repurposed or duplicated, without the contributor’s consent.

Included in

Psychology Commons