The relative contributions of implicit and explicit self-esteem to narcissistic use of Facebook

Roma Subramanian, Kevin Wise, Doug Davis, Manu Bhandari, Erin Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to explore the relationship between narcissism and Facebook use. Based on a conceptualization of narcissism as a discrepancy between implicit and explicit self-esteem, we investigated the relative contributions of each element of self-esteem to different Facebook behaviors presumed to represent narcissism. We measured the explicit and implicit self-esteem of 81 participants using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Self-Esteem Implicit Association Test (IAT), respectively. Most participants then provided access to their Facebook accounts by friending a fictitious person. We coded a sample of these participants' online behaviors, and then analyzed how they related to the measures of self-esteem. Results suggest that implicit rather than explicit self-esteem drives Facebook behaviors associated with narcissism, with implicit self-esteem negatively correlated with number of Facebook friends. These results inform our understanding of the relationship between personality and online behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Explicit
  • Facebook
  • Implicit
  • Narcissism
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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