RQ: How do the motives for excessive social media use differ

Studies have found that seeking social connection online can result in users’ loss of social skills, damage to existing relationships, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and inability to interact meaningfully in face-to-face situations (Ahn & Shin, 2013; Cain, 2018; Chiou et al., 2015; Oberst et al., 2017). Some even argue that social media use is the newest form of addiction (Cha & Seo, 2018). However, not all researchers have reached the same conclusion.

That said, findings to date suggest excessive social media use looms as a potential real-world problem. Researchers want to know what motivates excessive social media use and, more importantly, what and how it may affect its consumers. Furthermore, researchers may want to know if excessive social media use is age- or gender-specific or if its use is preferred by certain personality types, educational achievement, race, or ethnicity. There are myriad ways to approach this topic, depending on what, specifically, the researcher wants to know.

For this Discussion, you will create a research question related to quantitative or qualitative research in social psychology as well as examine a research method appropriate for the question.


Ahn, D., & Shin, D. H. (2013). Is the social use of media for seeking connectedness or for avoiding social isolation? Mechanisms underlying media use and subjective well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6), 2453–2462.

Cain, J. (2018). It’s time to confront student mental health issues associated with smartphones and social media. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 82(7), 738–741. Retrieved from https://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=132137452&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Cha, S., & Seo, B. (2018). Smartphone use and smartphone addiction in middle school students in Korea: Prevalence, social networking service, and game use. Health Psychology Open, 5(1), 2055-1029.

Chiou, W.B., Lee, C.C., & Liao, D.C. (2015). Facebook effects on social distress: Priming with social networking thoughts can alter the perceived distress due to social exclusion. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 230–236.

Oberst, U., Wegmann, E., Stodt, B., Brand, M., & Chamarro, A. (2017). Negative consequences from heavy social networking in adolescents: The mediating role of fear of missing out. Journal of Adolescence, 55, 51–60.

Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.


Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider the types of research questions for quantitative and qualitative research in social psychology as well as research design approaches based on the type of research question.
From the perspective of a social psychologist, consider what information you want to know about users’ motives for and the effects of excessive social media use.
Consider what research question would provide information relevant to what you want to know.
Because your research question determines the appropriate research method, think about the method best suited to address the research question, either quantitative (e.g., observational,correlational, experimental) or qualitative (e.g., phenomenological, case study).
Consider appropriate empirical support for the research method that you chose.
Make sure that your research question and research method align—in other words, make sure that the research method will answer your research question.

Post a research question that reflects a social psychologist’s interest in the motives for and effects of excessive social media use. Indicate the research methodology that best aligns with your research question and provide empirical support for the research method you have chosen.

References to go by

Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Akert, R. M., & Sommers, S. R. (Eds.). (2019). Social psychology (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Chapter 2, “Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research”
Note: Viewing media and interactives embedded in the electronic version of this course text is not required for this course.
Carsten, M. K., Uhl-Bien, M., West, B. J., Patera, J. L., & McGregor, R. (2010). Exploring social constructions of followership: A qualitative study. The Leadership QuarterlyLinks to an external site., 21(3), 543–562. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.03.015
Walden University. (2019). Research resources: Research design & analysis.Links to an external site.
Retrieved from Walden University. (2019). Research resources: Research design & analysis. Retrieved from https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/researchcenter/resources/design
Note: On this page, focus on:
Case Study Research: “Case Study Research Tutorial”
Qualitative Design & Analysis: “Phenomenological Research” and “Phenomenology Research Examples” Psych Week 2dq 1


RQ: How do the motives for excessive social media use differ between individuals with high and low levels of social anxiety?

This research question is qualitative in nature, as it seeks to understand the lived experiences of individuals with different levels of social anxiety. A qualitative research method that would be appropriate for this research question is phenomenological research. Phenomenological research seeks to understand the essence of a particular experience, such as the experience of excessive social media use in individuals with high and low levels of social anxiety.

Empirical support for the use of phenomenological research in this context can be found in the work of Carsten et al. (2010). In their study, Carsten et al. used phenomenological research to explore the social constructions of followership. They found that the participants in their study had different understandings of what it means to be a follower, depending on their individual experiences.

I believe that phenomenological research would be the best way to answer the research question posed above. This is because phenomenological research would allow me to gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of individuals with different levels of social anxiety. This understanding would be essential for developing effective interventions to help individuals who are struggling with excessive social media use.

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