Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Michael Spezio

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Helen Tan

Abstract

Instagram’s photo-centric social networking model has been found to provide a source of significant social influence on users’ behaviors offline, with such effects being especially prominent amongst adolescents given their position in the midst of a critical neurological/psychological development period. This study aims to use an online self-report questionnaire measuring susceptibility to negative social comparison and likelihood to engage in prosocial behavior as well as a 2x2x2 analysis of covariance to examine the effects of viewing risky stimuli, social desirability, and age (young vs older adolescence) to determine why certain adolescents are more prone to engaging in risky behaviors (defined as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and using cannabis) than their peers. The researcher proposes those with high susceptibility to engage in negative social comparison as well as a low likelihood to engage in prosocial behavior will be most likely to engage in risky behavior. Additionally, the researcher also predicts that older adolescents viewing risky images with high social desirability feedback will be more willing than any other group to engage in risky behavior. They will also rate the perceived risk of a subsequent risky behavior shown in a photo as less risky than any other group


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