Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

INVESTIGATION OF THE I-CONCEPT OF USERS OF SOCIAL NETWORKS

Fedoseeva T.E. 1 Ivanova I.A. 1 Emelyanova A.M. 1 Sineva E.D. 1
1 Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University n.a. Kozma Minin
The article is devoted to the analysis of the peculiarities of the personality of users of social networks. The concept of “self-presentation” in its relationship with the “I”-concept of users is considered. The author holds the idea that there are differences in the features of the self-presentation of men and women on a personal page in a social network, due to the peculiarities of their “I”-concept. The article is a presentation of the results of an empirical study based on the analysis of visualized images in self-presentation on the personal page of users of social networks as a behavioral component of the self-concept. The description of gender differences in the content analysis results of the users’ pages is described: the self-presentation of men is directed to a greater extent on such spheres as achievement of goals, career ladder, success; Self-presentation of women is aimed at dating, relationships, family, drawing attention to the exterior. It is proved that the features of the self-presentation of the user’s personality in the social network are determined by the peculiarities of his “I-conception”. The relevance of the article is connected with the expansion of the scope of the use of social networks and the insufficient degree of study of the problem of the personal characteristics of their users.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the peculiarities of the personality of users of social networks. The concept of “self-presentation” in its relationship with the “I”-concept of users is considered. The author holds the idea that there are differences in the features of the self-presentation of men and women on a personal page in a social network, due to the peculiarities of their “I”-concept. The article is a presentation of the results of an empirical study based on the analysis of visualized images in self-presentation on the personal page of users of social networks as a behavioral component of the self-concept. The description of gender differences in the content analysis results of the users’ pages is described: the self-presentation of men is directed to a greater extent on such spheres as achievement of goals, career ladder, success; Self-presentation of women is aimed at dating, relationships, family, drawing attention to the exterior. It is proved that the features of the self-presentation of the user’s personality in the social network are determined by the peculiarities of his “I-conception”. The relevance of the article is connected with the expansion of the scope of the use of social networks and the insufficient degree of study of the problem of the personal characteristics of their users.
virtual personality
self-presentation of users of social networks
“i”-conception

The phenomenon of social networks is very young and only starts to attract the scientists’ attention. Nevertheless, in scientific research one can more often meet the term “virtual personality” and “virtual identity”. Thus, E.A. Gorny [2] has singled out functions and types of virtual personality to which he refers creating a self-image “for others”, modeling, social engineering, mystification and realization of the need for mispresentation of selfhood “for others” – mummery. Different aspects of the problem of network identity have been studied abroad by V. Frindte, T. Keler [4]. In our country this problem is being developed by E.P. Belinskaya, A.E. Zhichkina, N.V. Chudova, I.A. Medvedeva, T.A. Artishevskaya, I.S. Shevchenko and others. Works of G. Asmolov and M. Sokolov are devoted to the study of the personal characteristics of the blogosphere participants.

Of special interest to us is similarity and discrepancy between the “virtual identity” and the real personality of the users.

The social networks have become the main means of self-presentation of many people nowadays. The concept of self-presentation, defined by Zh. Tedeshi and M. Riess as conscious creation of a certain impression for other people [6], in this aspect has been studied in detail by I. Gofman [3]. V.M. Shepel [5] writes about the meaning of self-presentation considering the technology of self-presentation as a means for creating a personal image.

Creation of a required image during self-presentation on the social network page is possible due to such components as the character of the main photo, the user’s personal name, as well as the contents of his/her personal information on the page (personal events, photos and videos in the archives, references, etc.).

Self-presentation in the network can have the purpose of solving the problem of search for one’s own identity, conscious creation of personal image, as well as exchange/translation of implications and meanings to arrange interaction with other users or influence them. Representing one of the aspects of behavioral component of I-concept of a personality, self-presentation can serve as a means for elimination of contradictions in its cognitive and emotional-evaluative components.

Within the framework of our investigation we shall analyze the visualized image in self-presentation on the personal page of men and women – users of the social network from the point of view of its determination by peculiarities of their I-concept.

Hypothesis: self-presentation of men in a social network is to a greater degree directed on the business sphere, self-presentation of women is mainly directed on the personal sphere and communication; peculiarities of self-presentation of the user’s personality in a social network are determined by the peculiarities of his/her I-concept.

Subject: peculiarities of I-concept of men and women – users of social networks.

Purpose: to investigate the interrelation of I-concept and self-presentation of men and women through personal information on personal pages of a social network.

Achievement of the purposes of the investigation supposes development of psychological contents of the notions “I-concept” and “self-presentation”, discovery of possibilities of self-presentation of a personality in social networks, studying the information of respondents in the structure of self-presentation of a social network user and discovery of qualitative differences in self-presentation of men and women in a social network.

The sample group comprised 60 people aged 25–35 years, of which there were 30 women and 30 men. During the first stage we have performed content analysis of the users’ pages and carried out comparative analysis of the information contained therein with the purpose to discover specific character of the contents of men’s and women’s pages. The second stage of investigation assumed questionnaire survey with the purpose to analyze motivation of social networks use by men and women. The third stage of the investigation consisted in studying specific gender features of self-relation of the users. At the fourth stage we have carried out comparative analysis of main modalities of I-concept of men and women. At the fifth stage we have performed statistic processing of the investigation results.

The following methods have been used for the investigation:

1. Content analysis of the user page.

2. A questionnaire developed by us for discovery of formal characteristics of respondents and peculiarities in the use of social network.

3. A test-checklist on self-relation by V.V. Stolin, S.R. Pantileyev. This method is aimed at studying substantive aspects of emotional component of I-concept.

4. A method by T. Dembo – S.Ya. Rubinstein. In our investigation this method has been used for discovery of main modalities of I-concept (real I, ideal I, mirror I).

5. For detecting differences in parameters for different groups we have used Student’s t-criterion.

The main results of the investigation

Based on the analysis of the contents of male and female user pages we can state the following: Women use their real photo in social networks less frequently than men do. The considerable part of respondents of both genders does without denotement of their status on the page. Giving personal information the majority of respondents of both genders prefer to give true information. Unlike men, women prefer quotations and philosophic utterances, whereas men tend to use humorous utterances. Both women and men rarely express their own thoughts on the wall, the main part of records on the wall are reposts. The contents of reposts have gender differences. Thus, for women of the greatest interest are love and children topics, for men – entertainment and personal achievements topics. Moreover, it needs to be mentioned that the most interesting categories for women are practically of no interest for men, and vice versa, categories in which men are interested, do not arouse women’s interest.

Women spend considerably more time in social networks than men. Men and women name different most important reasons for visiting social networks. Thus, for women the main reasons for using social networks are watching photos and communication with friends. The most important reasons for men are using content and visiting online communities.

Upon average, women have more friends as compared to men, however women by far less frequently interact with their social network friends outside social network.

The results of the respondents’ self-relation study using self-relation study method (SRSM) are given in Table.

Differences in the results of self-relation study using SRSM method between men and women by Student’s t-criterion

Scale

women

men

Student’s t-criterion

Openness

5,7

5,7

0,1

Self-confidence

6

5,9

0,3

Self-guidance

5,9

5,7

0,5

Mirror I

5,2

5,2

0,1

Self-value

6,9

6,3

1,3**

Self-acceptance

6,1

5,9

0,5

Self-attachment

4,2

5,4

2,5*

Proneness to conflict

5,4

4,8

1,5**

Self-reproach

6

5,9

0,9*

Note. Symbols legend: * – differences significant at the level of р < 0,05; ** – differences significant at the level of р < 0,01.

According to the table data, for women the most strongly marked feature of self-relation is self-value. The lowest average score for women is on the scale “Self-attachment”. On the scale “Self-confidence” the average score is equal to 6. The obtained result characterizes women as people used to stability. They maintain high working efficiency only in a situation familiar to them, when difficulties arise, their mood becomes impaired, anxiety and uneasiness grow.

The average score on the scale “Self-guidance” is equal to 5.9. The obtained value testifies of the women’s faith into dependency of their “I” from the external circumstances. Their self-regulation mechanisms are weakened, and willpower control for overcoming external and internal hindrances is insufficient.

On the scale “Mirror I” the average value is equal to 5.2. The average values on this scale speak to the fact that women have a selective relation to themselves and to others.

On the scale “Proneness to internal conflict” the average value is 5.4, which indicates that women are prone to reflection and self-analysis, having strict requirements to themselves, violation of rules of conduct leads them to conflict between “real I” and “ideal I”. Unexpected difficulties promote increase of underestimation of own success.

On the scale “Self-reproach” the average value is 6, which also indicates that women reproach themselves for any particular behavior or actions in conjunction with showing vexation towards other people.

For men the most strongly marked feature of self-relation is self-value. The lowest average score for men was obtained on the scale “Proneness to internal conflict”. On the scale “Proneness to internal conflict” the average score is equal to 4.8. The obtained result indicates that men are also prone to reflection and self-analysis.

The average value on the scale Self-confidence is equal to 5.9. The obtained result characterizes men as people used to stability. They maintain high working efficiency only in a situation familiar to them, when difficulties arise, their mood becomes impaired, anxiety and uneasiness grow.

On the scale “Self-guidance” the average value is equal to 5.7. The obtained value is within the range of average values on this scale, this testifies of the men’s faith into dependency of their “I” from the external circumstances. Their self-regulation mechanisms are weakened, and willpower control for overcoming external and internal hindrances is insufficient. Such people tend to deny their guilt pointing at external circumstances as the source of everything that happens.

The average value on the scale “Mirror I” is equal to 6. The average values on this scale speak to the fact that men have a selective relation to themselves and to others.

The average value on the scale “Self-acceptance” equal to 5.9 indicates selective relation to themselves, when the person does not accept all merits and does not criticize all shortcomings.

On the scale “Self-attachment” the average value is 5.4. This value indicates selectivity of relationship to one’s personal features. Men want to change certain features of their personality and keep other features.

On the scale “Self-reproach” the average value equal to 5.5 also indicates selective relation to oneself. The person reproaches himself for any particular behavior or actions in conjunction with showing vexation towards other people.

On some scales we can observe significant differences between the respondents.

Mathematical treatment of the investigation results showed significant differences on scales “self-value” (р ≤ 0,01), “self-attachment” (р ≤ 0,05), “proneness to conflict” (р ≤ 0,01) and “self-reproach” (р ≤ 0,05). This indicates reliably higher values of self-attachment for men and higher values of self-value and at the same time proneness to conflict and self-reproach for women.

For the analysis of reliability of differences for men and women in the data of T. Dembo – S.Ya. Rubinstein method, Student’s t-criterion was used, which did not show significant differences for any modality of “I” concept.

Conclusions

1. Self-presentation on a social network page of men is to a greater extent directed on such spheres as achievement of goals, career ladder, success. Self-presentation of women is directed on dating, relationships, family, drawing attention to attractive appearance.

2. Peculiarities of self-presentation of men and women – social network users are determined by specific peculiarities of their “I-concept”: for men the characteristic feature is self-attachment, women realizing their self-value, nevertheless are more prone to conflict and prone to self-reproach.