Date Presented

Spring 4-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Access Type

1

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Alisha Walker Marciano

Abstract

This study examined the impact of different forms of social media on the emotional and behavioral response to cyber victimization. Via Survey Monkey®, participants viewed a hypothetical post on either Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. This post mimicked a cyberbullying scenario that targeted the victim’s weight. Participants were asked to consider a number of different responses to the cyber victimization including: severity of bullying, behavioral response (e.g. liking, sharing, blocking, etc.), emotional responses, and coping strategies. They also completed measures of empathy and cyber victimization experience. They were grouped into one of two cyber victimization groups: history of less victimization vs. more victimization. Results suggested that the Facebook post was perceived as more severe than posts on Twitter or Instagram. Individuals also reported that they would be significantly more likely to engage in behaviors that encourage the continuation of cyberbullying on Instagram than on Twitter. Those who had experienced cyber victimization more often reported feeling less empathy towards others. Finally, individuals who had been victimized less often reported likely use of maladaptive coping strategies in response to the hypothetical cyberbullying scenario.

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