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Understanding the Imaginary Audience and the Personal Fable in a Social Media Environment

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abstract
Current research has found evidence for the emergence of Adolescent Egocentrism in later ages than previously thought. This current study sought to extend this contemporary understanding of adolescent egocentrism by providing a possible alternative explanation for the reemergence of adolescence in young adults. The high rate of Facebook use among young people has necessitated an examination of social network usage among children and adolescents under the auspices of developmental theory. Thus, this research study examined the relationship between Facebook use, customization, and developmental constructs associated with Adolescent Egocentrism; namely, Imaginary Audience and the Personal Fable. Developmental theory, however, cannot account for differences between Facebook users in older age ranges. Therefore, this study also examined the relationship between Facebook use, customization, and the trait variable of self-consciousness among adults. Through this examination of both trait and developmental variables, this research study examined Facebook with a sample ranging in age from 9-78. Results suggest a relationship between Facebook use and heightened Imaginary Audience and Personal Fable. Taking the results together, the authors forward a theoretical model to explain the cycle from Facebook use to Imaginary Audience and back to Facebook use. Theoretical implications for the future study of Facebook use, specific Facebook usage behaviors, and developmental variables are discussed.
subject
Adolescents
Children
Facebook
Imaginary Audience
Personal Fable
Social Media
contributor
Cingel, Drew Patrick (author)
Krcmar, Marina (committee chair)
Mitra, Ananda (committee member)
Wood, Dustin (committee member)
date
2012-06-12T08:35:49Z (accessioned)
2014-06-12T08:30:07Z (available)
2012 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
embargo
2014-06-12 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/37260 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Understanding the Imaginary Audience and the Personal Fable in a Social Media Environment
type
Thesis

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