Facebook & Shyness

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48BPSYC 1102
49BCOVER SHEET

SURNAME: T STUDENT NUMBER
GIVEN NAMES: C

TITLE OF ASSIGNMENT (Lab report) 33% of the Final Mark

Personality, Psychological Traits and the Use of Online Communication via Facebook

WORD COUNT: 1,498DATE DUE: U11:30 PM Monday, 17 Sept 2012

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DECLARATION:
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STUDENT INITIALS: C.T.
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Personality, Psychological Traits and the Use of Online Communication via Facebook C T
The University of Western Australia

Word Count: 1,498
Abstract
This study examines the relationship between the social networking site, Facebook and its facilitation of communication for individuals with shyness or anxiety issues. Associations between shyness and the length of time spent on Facebook, shyness and the number of online contacts and finally Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) scores and the length of time spent on Facebook were explored in this study. Results from a Facebook Use survey completed by 654 undergraduate students indicated a correlation between shyness and fewer Facebook contacts had. Thus suggesting that while Facebook allowed users with high levels of shyness or anxiety to socialise online and away from face-to-face communication, it still requires an individual’s incentive to communication with others to form these online friendships.

Personality, Psychological Traits and the Use of Online Communication via Facebook
The Internet is an international system of online communication which provides users with social networking to facilitate shyness and anxiety, a function which is highly important amongst individuals who otherwise might struggle with face-to-face communication. Although often used interchangeably, shyness and anxiety are related but distinct concepts. Shyness is characterised by anxiety reactions (e.g., tension, discomfort) and an inhibition of normal social behaviours when in the presence of others (Buss A.H., 1980.) Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension without a stimulus and is characterised by physiological changes (e.g., sweating, tremor) as defined by Dorland’s Medical Dictionary (2007). A social network allows its users to construct profiles, customise their identity and simplifies communication between individuals. Currently Facebook is the most widely used social service, with over 900 million users worldwide and a daily average use of 30 minutes (Pempek et al, 2009.)

In the work of Orr et al. (2009) shy participants tended to spend more time on the social network but also have fewer online friends. These...
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