Who’s Who in That Picture? The Association between Profile Picture Content and Social Well-Being

Alyss M Hudson, Jonathan S Gore


Despite significant interest in social well-being and its association with Facebook use, research on profile picture content has been overlooked. The current study asked participants (n = 158) to log into their Facebook account, access their profile pictures, and categorize the content of their profile pictures. Participants then completed an online personality survey at a later date. The results confirmed hypotheses that a high amount of pictures of oneself with close others will be associated with higher levels of social well-being, and a high amount of pictures involving the self only, strangers (celebrities and fantasy) and distant others (deceased, pet) will be associated with lower levels of social well-being. The study also showed important differences between men and women in the association between social well-being and the use of distant others and strangers as profile pictures.

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