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Research Article

Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults

  • Ethan Kross mail,

    ekross@umich.edu

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Philippe Verduyn,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

    X
  • Emre Demiralp,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Jiyoung Park,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • David Seungjae Lee,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Natalie Lin,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Holly Shablack,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • John Jonides,

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Oscar Ybarra

    Affiliation: Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Published: August 14, 2013
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069841

Reader Comments (11)

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Everyone in school gets stressed as the semester progresses

Posted by dplaut on 18 Aug 2013 at 23:41 GMT

Did you have a control group that does not use Facebook but was required to answer 5 surveys a day x 2 weeks? How about a control group that is not in school??

If people become more stressed as the semester progresses (I know I was) then they may have less time for live social interaction, feel a bit less happy, and turn to Facebook for few minutes of distraction between writing papers, studying etc.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Everyone in school gets stressed as the semester progresses

JanGleixner replied to dplaut on 14 Jan 2014 at 13:19 GMT

Answer based on a very short look on the paper:
They had in a way. They correlated the usage with the outcome. So they had people that used it more and people that used it less. The progressing semester would not have have a influence on that correlation, because it would just shift the mean (unless, of course, a progressing semester influences facebook usage).

However they did not run any causal experiments, so their conclusion (or at least the medias) is not possible.
What would be needed to show this was a control group that is forced to not use facebook.

From my personal experience I'd say that it is the other way around. When I am sad (esp. bored) I go to fb. The observed effect could be fully explained by this.

No competing interests declared.