Social media users challenge a tension in between presenting themselves in one idealized or really way. Here, we check out how prioritizing one end the other impacts users’ well-being. We estimate the degree of self-idealized vs. Really self-expression as the proximity between a user’s self-reported personality and the automatically personality judgements make on the basis facebook Likes and also status updates. Assessing data the 10,560 facebook users, we discover that individuals who are more authentic in your self-expression likewise report higher Life Satisfaction. This effect appears consistent across different personality profiles, countering the proposition that people with socially preferable personalities benefit from authentic self-expression an ext than others. We extend this recognize in a pre-registered, longitudinal experiment, demonstrating the causal relationship in between authentic posting and positive affect and the atmosphere on a within-person level. Ours findings indicate that the extent to which social media usage is pertained to well-being counts on exactly how individuals usage it.

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Social media have the right to seem favor an synthetic world in i beg your pardon people’s stays consist completely of exotic vacations, thriving friendships, and also photogenic, healthy and balanced meals. In fact, over there is whole industry built roughly people’s desire to existing idealistic self-representations on society media. Well-known applications choose FaceTune, because that example, allow users to modify everything around themselves, indigenous skin ton to the size of their physical features. In line with this “self-idealization perspective”, study has displayed that self-expressions on society media communication are frequently idealized, exaggerated, and also unrealistic1. The is, social media users often act as digital curators the their virtual selves2 by staging or editing content they current to others3.

A contrasting human body of research says that social media platforms constitute expansions of offline identities, through users presenting fairly authentic execution of themselves4. While users could engage in some degree of self-idealization, the social that the platforms is believed to provide a level of accountability that prevents individuals native starkly misrepresenting their identities5. This is particularly true because that platforms such together Facebook, wherein the bulk of friend in a user’s network additionally have an offline connection6. In fact, modern social media sites prefer Facebook and also Instagram space far more realistic than at an early stage social media websites such as 2nd Life, where individuals presented themselves as avatars that were often fully divorced native reality7. In line through this yes, really self-expression perspective, research study has shown that people on facebook are an ext likely to express your actual quite than your idealized personalities8,9.

The desire to present the self in a method that is ideal and authentic is not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, an separation, personal, instance is most likely to desire both simultaneously10. This occurs in part because self-idealization and authentic self-expression fulfill various psychological needs and are associated with various psychological costs. ~ above the one hand, self-idealization has been called a “fundamental component of human being”11 since it permits individuals to maintain a hopeful self-view and to develop positive impressions of themselves in others12. In addition, authentic self-expression allows individuals to verify and also affirm their feeling of self13,14 which deserve to increase self-esteem15, and also a feeling of belonging16. Top top the other hand, self-idealizing behavior can it is in psychologically costly, together acting the end of character is linked with feel of internal conflict, emotional discomfort, and strong emotional reactions17,18; people may additionally possess qualities that are more or less socially desirable, bringing your desire to present themselves in an authentic method into conflict with your desire to existing the ideal version the themselves.

Here, we explore the tension in between self-idealization and also authentic self-expression on society media, and test how prioritizing one end the other results users’ well-being. We emphasis our analysis on a core component that the self: personality19. Personality captures fundamental distinctions in the means that world think, feel and behave, reflecting the psychological features that make people uniquely themselves20,21. Building on the Five variable Model that personality22, we test the level to i beg your pardon authentic self-expression the personality qualities are regarded Life Satisfaction, hypothesizing that better authentic self-expression will be positively associated with Life Satisfaction. In exploratory analyses, we also consider even if it is this relationship is moderated by the personality characteristics of the individual. The is, not all individuals might advantage from really self-expression equally. Offered that part personality properties are much more socially desirable than others23, people who possess more desirable personality traits are likely to suffer a decreased tension in between self-idealization and authentic self-expression. Consequently, people with more socially preferable profiles can disproportionality benefit from really self-expression because the motivational traction of self-idealization and authentic self-expression point in the same—rather 보다 the opposite—direction.

Previous literature on really self-expression has predominantly relied ~ above self-reported perceptions of authenticity as (i) a state of feeling authentic24, or (ii) a judgement about the honesty or consistency that one’s self25. However, together self-reported measures have been displayed to it is in biased by valence states, and social desirability26,27. To get rid of these limitations, in study 1 we introduce a measure up of Quantified Authenticity. If authenticity is many simply characterized as the unobstructed expression that one’s self28, then authenticity deserve to be estimated as the proximity of an individual’s self-view and their observable self-expression. Us calculate Quantified Authenticity by compare self-reported personality to personality judgements made by computer systems on the communication of observable actions on on facebook (i.e., Likes and status updates).

By observing self-presentation on society media and also comparing it to the individual’s self-view, we space able come quantify the extent to i m sorry an individual deviates from their authentic self. The is, we find each individual on a continually that varieties from low authenticity (i.e., large discrepancy in between the self-view and also observable self-expression) come high authenticity (i.e., perfect alignment in between the self-view and observable self-expression). Importantly, our strategy rests top top the presumption that any type of deviation from the self-view on social media constitutes an effort to existing oneself in a more positive light, and also therefore a form of self-idealization. If a deviation might theoretically show both self-idealization and also self-deprecation, the is unlikely that customers will deviate from your true selves in a means that provides them watch worse in the eyes of others. A strength of our actions is the we carry out not postulate that self-idealization bring away a particular type of deviation indigenous the self or is connected with striving because that a particular profile. Although research says that there are specific personality traits that are an ext desirable top top average29,30, the level to i m sorry a human sees scoring high or short on a provided trait is likely somewhat idiosyncratic and depends—at the very least in part—on other people in their social network. For example, behaving in a an ext extraverted means might be self-enhancing for most people; however, there could be people for who behaving in a an ext introverted means might be more desirable (e.g. Because the share of your social network is much more introverted). Hence, our conceptualization that Quantified Authenticity enables for deviations in different directions (see Supplementary details for much more detail).

Quantified Authenticity and subjective well-being

In examine 1, us analyzed the data that 10,560 Facebook users who had actually completed a personality assessment and reported on their Life Satisfaction through the myPersonality application31,32. To estimate the extent to which their facebook profiles stand for authentic expressions of your personality, we contrasted their self-ratings to 2 observational sources: predictions of personality from facebook Likes (N = 9237)33 and also predictions that personality indigenous Facebook standing updates (N = 3215)34. These are based on recent developments in the automatic assessment of emotional traits indigenous the digital traces they leave on Facebook35. For each the the observable sources, us calculated Quantified Authenticity together the train station Euclidean distance between all five self-rated and also observable personality traits. Our measure of Quantified Authenticity exhibits a desirable level the variance, ranging all the means from very authentic self-expression to considerable levels the self-idealization (see ridgeline plot the Quantified Authenticity calculated because that self-language and also Self-Likes in Supplementary Fig. 3, check out Supplementary Tables 1 and 2 because that zero-order correlations among variables).

To test the degree to i beg your pardon authentic self-expression is regarded Life Satisfaction, we ran linear regression analyses predicting Life Satisfaction from the two steps of Quantified Authenticity (Likes, standing updates). The results support the hypothesis that higher levels of authenticity (i.e. Reduced distance scores) are positively correlated with Life Satisfaction (Table 1, version 1 there is no controls). These results remained statistically far-ranging when controlling for self-reported personality traits. Additionally, we contained a regulate variable for the all at once extremeness of one individual’s personality profile (deviation indigenous the population mean across all 5 traits), as people with an ext extreme personality profiles might find that more difficult to blend into society and therefore experience reduced levels the well-being36 (see Table 1, version 2 with controls; the results are mostly robust when controlling for gender and age, watch Supplementary Table 3; watch Supplementary Figs. 1 and 2 for interactions between individual self-reported and predicted personality traits).

Table 1 Regression analysis of Life Satisfaction top top Quantified Authenticity.
Full size table

To further discover the instrument of Quantified Authenticity, we conducted analyses that distinguished between normative self-enhancement (i.e., rating oneself as much more Extraverted, Agreeable, Conscientiousness, Emotionally Stable, and Open-minded than is indicated by one’s facebook behavior) indigenous self-deprecation (i.e., rating oneself lower on every one of these traits). While normative self-enhancement has a negative effect on well-being, normative self-deprecation has actually no effect. These findings imply that self-enhancement specifically, rather than overall self-discrepancy/lack of authenticity, is detrimental to subjective well-being (see Supplementary Fig. 4).

To test the robustness of ours effects, we regressed Life Satisfaction top top three added measures of Quantified Authenticity (i.e., calculated using Manhattan Distance, Cosine Similarity, and also Correlational Similarity; view SI for details on these measures). In both comparison to adjust (likes and status updates), we found significant and confident correlations in between the various means of estimating Quantified Authenticity (see Supplementary Tables 1 and also 2). The standardization beta-coefficients throughout all four metrics the Quantified Authenticity and also observable sources are shown in Fig. 1. Regardless of variance in result sizes throughout measures and also model specifications, the bulk of approximates are statistically significant and confident (11 the end of 16). Importantly, no coefficients to be observed in the opposite direction. This results imply that those that are much more authentic in their self-expression on facebook (i.e., those who present themselves in a means that is closer to your self-view) also report greater levels of Life Satisfaction.

Fig. 1: Quantified authenticity ~ above Life Satisfaction.


Figure 1 gift standardized beta coefficients for Quantified Authenticity making use of ordinary the very least squares regressions in 16 separation, personal, instance regressions predicting Life Satisfaction. Quantified Authenticity is significantly associated with Life Satisfaction in 11 out of the 16 models. Quantified Authenticity is measured together the consistency in between self-reported personality and two other sources of personality data: language and Likes, respectively, (indicated in red and blue color). Quantified Authenticity is identified using four distance metrics, respectively: Manhattan, Euclidean, correlation, and cosine similarity (indicated v a letter in the dots). Models with and also without control variables are suggested with dashed and also solid line, respectively.

In exploratory analyses, we thought about whether authenticity might advantage individuals of different personalities differentially. In stimulate to research this, we regressed Life Satisfaction ~ above the interactions in between Quantified Authenticity and also each the the 5 personality characteristics (e.g., Quantified Authenticity × Extraversion). The outcomes of these interaction analyses go not administer reliable proof for the proposition that people with socially desirable profiles (i.e., high openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and low neuroticism) advantage from authentic self-expression an ext than individuals with much less socially preferable profiles (see Table 1, design 3). While the interaction of the five personality traits v Quantified Authenticity reached significance for part traits and measures, the outcomes were not consistent throughout both observable sources of self-expression (Likes-based and also Language-based). Consequently, we did not discover reliable proof that having actually a socially desirable personality profile boosts the result of authenticity top top well-being. Instead, people reported enhanced Life Satisfaction when they presented authentic self-expression, nevertheless of their personality profile.

The result of study 1 provide evidence because that the link between authenticity on social media and well-being in a setup of high exterior validity. However, offered the correlational the the study, us cannot make any type of claims about the causality of the effects. While we hypothesize that expressing oneself authentically on social media results in higher levels that well-being, that is additionally plausible that individuals who experience greater levels of health are more likely to express themselves authentically on social media. To carry out evidence because that the directionality that authenticity ~ above well-being, we performed a pre-registered, longitudinal experiment in research 2 (see Fig. 2 for an illustration that the speculative design).

Fig. 2: research 2 experimental design.


Experimental manipulation of really self-expression on well-being

We recruited 90 students and social media customers at a Northeastern university to take part in a 2-week research (Mage = 22.98, SDage = 4.17, 72.22% female). The sample dimension deviates from our pre-registered sample dimension of 200. The reason for this is the the behavior research laboratory of the college was shut under after the very first wave the data collection as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All participants perfect two treatment stages throughout which they were asked to write-up on their social media profiles in a way that was: (1) authentic because that 7 days and (2) self-idealized for 7 days. The order in i beg your pardon participants completed the 2 interventions to be randomly assigned. This experimental set-up allowed us to examine the impacts of authentic versus idealized self-expression on social media in between-person (week 1) and also within-person analyses (comparison in between week 1 and week 2). Every analyses to be pre-registered before data collection37. Provided the reduced sample size, the impacts reported in this file are all as expected in impact size, but only partially reached definition at the typical alpha = 0.05 level. Consequently, we also consider impacts that reach significance at alpha = 0.10 as marginally significant.

All participants perfect a personality pre-screen (IPIP)38 front to start the study, and received personalized feedback report at the start of the treatment period (t0). Both the authentic and also self-idealized interventions (see approaches for details) inquiry participants come reflect on the feedback report and identify particular ways in which castle could alter their self-expression on society media to align their posts an ext closely with their yes, really personality profile (authentic intervention) or to align your posts much more closely with just how they wanted to be checked out by others (see Supplementary information for treatment text and examples the responses). The operationalization that the treatment follows our conceptualization of Quantified Authenticity in study 1 in the it does no prescribe the direction the personality readjust (e.g. Towards higher levels the extraversion). Instead, this architecture leaves it approximately participants what posting in a an ext desirable way means in relationship to their existing profile.

Participants self-reported your subjective health as Life Satisfaction39, a single-item atmosphere measure, and also positive and negative affect40 a main after the first intervention (t1), and also a mainly after the 2nd intervention (t2). This design enabled us to study the causal the posting because that a main in i m sorry participants post authentically (“authentic, real, or true”), contrasted to a main in i m sorry they post in a self-idealized way (“ideal, renowned or satisfaction to others”). Specifically, we hypothesized that people who post an ext authentically over the course of a week would certainly self-report greater subjective health at the finish of that week, both at the between and within-person level.

We examined the effect of authentic versus self-idealized expression in ~ the in between person level in ~ t1 (see t1 in Fig. 3) utilizing independent t-tests. Contradictory to our expectations, we did not find any far-reaching differences in between the two conditions for any of the health indicators. This suggests that people in the really vs. Self-idealized problems did no differ native one another in their level of health after the an initial week that the study. However, when examining the impact within subjects using dependence t-tests we discovered that participants reported significantly higher levels of well-being after the mainly in i beg your pardon they posted authentically as compared to the mainly in which they post in a self-idealized way. Specifics the health scores in the authentic main were uncovered to it is in significantly higher than in the self-idealized week because that mood (mean difference = 0.19 <0.003, 0.374>, t = 2.02, d = 0.43, p = 0.046) and also for positive influence (mean difference = 0.17 <0.012, 0.318>, t = 2.14, d = 0.45, p = 0.035), and also marginally far-ranging for an adverse affect (mean difference = −0.20 <−0.419, 0.016>, t = −1.84, d = 0.39, p = 0.069). There was no far-reaching effect top top Life Satisfaction (mean difference = 0.09 <−0.096, 0.274>, t = 0.96, d = 0.20, p = 0.342).

Fig. 3: speculative outcomes by authenticity and also idealization treatment.


The bar chars show the standardized median of well-being signs (mood, hopeful affect, an adverse affect, and Life Satisfaction) across two research time point out by condition. The red bars suggest scores for the mainly in i m sorry participants to be asked to post authentically, and the blue bars scores because that the weeks in i beg your pardon they to be asked to article in a self-idealized way. Error bars represent standard errors. The left-side dashboard presents group A who received the authenticity treatment complied with by the idealized treatment. The right-side panel presents team B who obtained the idealized treatment followed by the authenticity treatment. This experiment was carried out once through independent samples in each group.

These findings are reflected in Fig. 3 i m sorry showcases the interactions in between condition and also time point. The graphs highlight the subjective well-being was higher in the main in which participants to be asked to write-up authentically (red bars) compared to those in i beg your pardon they to be asked to short article in a self-idealized means (blue bars). If there was no difference in subjective well-being across conditions in ~ t1, subjective well-being steps differed significantly in between the authentic and self-idealized conditions at t2. We discovered no far-reaching difference in between conditions on Life Satisfaction (mean difference = 0.29 <−0.226, 0.798>, t = 1.11, d = 0.23, p = 0.270), however, we uncovered a significant difference in between conditions such that the team which obtained the authenticity treatment had greater positive impact (mean difference = 0.45 <0.083, 0.825>, t = 2.43, d = 0.51, p = 0.017), lower an unfavorable affect (mean difference = −0.57 <−1.034, −0.113>, t = −2.47, d = 0.52, p = 0.015), and higher overall the atmosphere (mean difference = 0.40 <0.028, 0.775>, t = 2.14, d = 0.45, p = 0.036).

The findings of the experiment provide support for the causal relationship in between posting authentically, compared to posting in a self-idealized way, top top the an ext immediate affective indicators of subjective-wellbeing, including mood and also affect, yet not ~ above the more long-term, cognitive indicator of life satisfaction. This findings aligns with our pre-registration in that we had actually predicted atmosphere and impact measures come be more sensitive to the treatment compared to Life Satisfaction, which is a more comprehensive global evaluate one’s overall life39 and also less most likely to adjust in the course of a week.

Additionally, the truth that we did not find far-reaching effects in ours between-subjects analysis in the very first week the the study argues that really self-expression might be daunting to manipulate in a one-off therapy as society media customers are most likely used come expressing themselves on society media both authentically and also in a self-idealized way. Thus, once only one strategy is emphasized, participants might not shift their behavior. This is sustained by the finding the participants did not differ considerably in your subjective suffer of authenticity on society media at t1 (mean in authentic problem at t1 = 5.56, median in self-idealized problem at t1 = 5.55, t = 0.05, d = 0.01, p = 0.958; Participants comment to a single item, which check out “This past week, ns was really on social media” on a 7-point scale where 1 = strongly disagree and also 7 = strongly agree), indicating the the between-subjects manipulation was unsuccessful in getting people to transition their behaviors more toward self-idealized or really self-expression contrasted to your baseline. However, the comparison of the two techniques highlighted in the within-subjects part of the study seems to have effectively shifted participants’ behavior. When compared within person, college student did undoubtedly report higher levels of competent authenticity in their posting throughout the mainly in which they to be instructed to post authentically (mean difference = 0.30 <0.044, 0.556>, t = 2.33, d = 0.49, p = 0.022).

We often hear the advice to simply be ourselves. Indeed, psychological theories have suggested that behaving in a means that is consistent with the self-view is valuable for separation, personal, instance well-being41. However, prior investigate of authenticity and well-being have relied solely on self-reported procedures which deserve to be confounded by valence and also social desirability biases. We estimated authenticity together the proximity in between the self-view and also self-expression on society media—which us termed Quantified Authenticity—and uncovered that authentic self-expression on society media was correlated with greater Life Satisfaction, vital component of overall well-being. This effect was robust throughout two compare points, computer system modeled personality based on Facebook Likes and status updates. Our findings indicate that if users engage in self-expression on society media, there might be psychological benefits connected with gift authentic. Us replicate this finding in a longitudinal experiment through university students; being motivated to post in an authentic means was connected with more positive mood and affect, and less an unfavorable mood in ~ participants. Contrary to our 2nd hypothesis, us did not find constant support because that interactions between personality traits and authenticity, such that people with more socially desirable traits would certainly benefit more from behaving authentically. Instead, our findings suggest that all individuals regardless the personality characteristics could advantage from being authentic on society media.

Our findings add to the existing literature by speaking straight to conflicting result on the effects of society media use on well-being. Some studies discover that social media use increases self-esteem and also positive self-view42, when others discover that social media use is connected to lower well-being43. Still, others uncover that the impact of social media on wellness is small44 or non-existent45. In an attempt to convey these combined findings, researcher have argued that the level to which society media platforms connected to reduced or higher levels that well-being might depend not on whether human being use them however on how they use them. For example, research study has presented that active versus passive facebook use has divergent results on well-being. While passively making use of Facebook to consume the content share by others was negatively regarded well-being, proactively using facebook to share content and also communicate was not46. We include to this cultivation body of study by arguing that impacts of social media use on well-being may likewise be described by individual differences in self-expression on society media.

Our study has a number of limitations that should be handle by future research. First, our analyses focused specifically on the effects of authentic society media use on well-being, and cannot speak come the concern of even if it is an authentic society media usage is far better or worse 보다 not using social media in ~ all. That is, also though using social media accuracy is much better than utilizing it in a more self-idealizing way, the as whole effect of social media use on well-being might still be a negative. Future research study could deal with this concern by directly comparing no social media usage to authentic social media use in both correlational and also experimental settings.

Second, ours findings carry out not administer any insights into why individuals could behave an ext or less authentically. For example, a deviation native the self-view might be explained by a lack of self-awareness, or an knowingly misrepresentation that the self. The is possible that relying on whether deviation is driven by will or not, authenticity could be much more or much less strongly regarded well-being. The is, the psychological prices of deviating native one’s self-view might be stronger once they space intentional such that the individual is totally aware that the fact that they are behaving in a self-idealizing way. Future research study should check out this aspect empirically.

Finally, the effects of yes, really self-presentation on social media on well-being are durable but small (max(β) = 0.11) when contrasted to contrasted to other crucial predictors of health such together income, physical health, and also marriage47,48,49. However, us argue that the effects defined here are systematic when make the efforts to know a complicated and multifaceted build such as Life Satisfaction. First, research 1 captures authenticity using monitorings of actual habits rather than self-reports. Given that such behavior data caught in the wild do not suffer from the same response biases as self-reports which deserve to inflate relationships between variables (e.g. Common an approach bias50), and also are regularly noisier 보다 self-reports, their impact sizes can not be straight compared51. In fact, the impact sizes derived in research 2 which was conducted in a much much more controlled, experimental setup shows the the result of authenticity ~ above subjective well-being is substantially larger when measure up with more traditional techniques (max(d) = 0.45). In addition, when other factors such as employment and also health are stronger predictors the well-being, they have the right to be exterior of the immediate regulate of the individual. In contrast, posting on social media in a means that is more aligned through an individual’s personality is both up to the individual and relatively easy to change.

Social media is a pervasive component of modern social life52. Virtually 80% of Americans usage some type of social media, and three quarters of users examine these accounts on a daily basis53. Countless have speculated that the artificiality of this platforms and also their trend towards self-idealization have the right to be detrimental for individual well-being. Our results imply that whether or no engaging v social media help or hurts an individual’s well-being might be partially driven by exactly how they use those communication to express themselves. When it may be tempting to craft a self-enhanced facebook presence, yes, really self-expression on society media have the right to be psychologically beneficial.

Study 1. Participants and procedure

Data were built up through the MyPersonality project, one application accessible on Facebook between 2007 and also 201231. Customers of the application completed validated psychometric tests including a measure up of the huge Five personality traits22,54, and also received prompt feedback on their responses. A subsample of myPersonality users additionally agreed to donate their facebook profile information—including their public profiles, their facebook likes, their status updates, etc.—for research study purposes. In addition, users can invite their on facebook friends to finish the personality questionnaire on their behalf, judging no their very own personality but that of their friend.

To calculate authenticity, we emerged a measure we describe as Quantified Authenticity (QA). Come compute this measure, we contrasted a who self-reported personality come two exterior criteria: (1) your personality as predicted from facebook Likes, and also (2) their personality as predicted from the language provided in their condition updates (see “Measures” section below for more information). The number of participants varied between the two samples based upon exclusionary criteria. To be consisted of in the Language-based model, individuals had actually to have actually posted at least 500 native of Facebook condition updates (N = 3215). In the Likes-based model, only participants through 20 or an ext Likes were contained (N = 9237).

Big 5 personality

Participants’ personality to be measured using the well-established Five element model that personality, also known as big Five traits54,55. The Five element model posits five relatively stable, constant personality traits: Openness come Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and also Neuroticism. The big Five personality traits have been discovered to be stable throughout cultures, instruments, and also observers56. Additionally, year of research have connected them come a broad variety of behaviors, preferences and other consequential outcomes, consisting of well-being57 and behavior ~ above Facebook58.

Self-reported personality

Participants’ views of their own personalities are based upon the well-established global Personality Item swimming pool or IPIP38. Participants consisted of in the analyses responded to 20–100 questions using a 5 point Likert-scale whereby 1 = strongly disagree come 5 = strongly agree.

Computer-based predictions of personality indigenous likes and status updates

Recent methodological advances in maker learning have noted researchers v the capability to guess the personality of individuals from their social media profiles33,34,35. Here, we offered personality forecast of personality from on facebook Likes and also the language provided in standing updates. For on facebook Likes (N = 9327), we obtained the personality predictions do by Youyou and also colleagues33, who used a 10-fold cross-validated LASSO regression to predict huge Five personality traits out of sample. Top top average, the predictions caught personality through an accuracy of r = 0.56 (correlation in between predicted and self-reported scores). For condition updates (N = 3215), we obtained the predictions do by Park et al.34, who offered cross-validated Ridge regression to infer personality from language features, such together individual words, combine of words (n-grams), and also topics. ~ above average, the predictions caught personality v an accuracy the r = 0.41 (correlation between predicted and also self-reported scores).

Personality extremeness

We calculation extremeness of participants’ personality profiles as a control variable because that our analyses by summing the pure z-scores top top all five traits. We encompass extremeness because extreme individual scores often tend to produce larger absolute difference scores. Additionally, previous occupational has discovered that civilization with much more extreme personality profiles might find the more daunting to blend into society and because of this experience reduced levels that well-being36.

Self-ratings that well-being

Individuals reported their Life Satisfaction—a key component of spatu well-being—on a five-item scale39. The SWLS has actually been displayed to it is in a systematic psychological construct, correlated with a number of important life outcomes such together marital status and health59.

Quantified Authenticity

Quantified Authenticity to be calculated in 3 steps. First, we z-standardized the personality scores on each of the three measures (self, Likes, language) to acquire a person’s family member standing on the 5 personality properties in comparison come the reference group. Second, we computed the distance in between self-reported personality and each the the externally inferred personality profiles making use of Euclidean distance, a widely developed distance measure, which has been supplied in previous emotional research36. To do our measure more intuitively interpretable, we lastly subtracted the distance measure from zero to acquire a measure up of Quantified Authenticity for which higher scores indicate higher levels of authenticity. See Eq. (1) below.

$$\mathrmQuantified\,\mathrmAuthenticity\,\left( x,y \right) = 0 - \sqrt \mathop \sum\limits_i^5 (x_i - y_i)^2 $$

For separation, personal, instance i, xi is the Cartesian coordinate of the self-view in a 5-dimensional personality space. Because that individual i, yi is the Cartesian name: coordinates of the language-, or likes-based personality. Our measure up of Quantified Authenticity exhibited preferable level the variance, ranging all the way from very authentic self-expression to substantial levels that self-idealization (see ridgeline plot of standardization Quantified Authenticity calculated based on Language and also Likes in Supplementary Fig. 3). Additional information on the calculate of the three various other metrics that Quantified Authenticity (i.e., Manhattan distance, correlational similarity, and cosine similarity) can be uncovered in the SI.

Study 2. Participants and also procedure

All study actions were authorized by the Columbia University person Research defense Office and also informed consent was received from all examine participants. Before completing the study, participants perfect a pre-screening survey. This contained a variety of questions regarded their society media task and the BFI-2S together a measure of their big Five personality traits60. Participants that qualified because that the examine were randomly assigned to among two groups depicted as “Group A” and also “Group B” in Fig. 3). Both groups received both interventions (authentic and self-idealized), yet they received the treatments in a different order.

The research took location over the course of 2 weeks. On the an initial day the the study, participants got an email, which consisted of the results of your personality check taken in the pre-screen. They then self-reported your baseline subjective well-being (t0). In ~ the finish of the survey, fifty percent of the students were asked to usage the personality feedback to perform three ways in which they can express themselves much more authentically over the following week on social media. The second group to be asked to list v three methods to express us in a much more self-idealized way.

At the end of the an initial week, attendees received an e-mail with the 2nd survey link. They perfect the exact same subjective well-being procedures (t1; day 0–7), and also were shown their personality feedback again as a reminder. The students who were previously assigned to the authentic problem were now asked to perform three methods to express themselves in a an ext self-idealized method (based on your personality profile), and also vice versa (reversing the intervention assignments). At the finish of the 2nd week, entrants received an e-mail with the final survey link. They perfect the very same subjective well-being steps (t2; job 7–14).

Subjective well-being

Individuals reported their Life Satisfaction ~ above the exact same five-item scale as examine 139. In addition, participants responded to optimistic and an adverse affect40 and a single-item basic mood measure.

Preregistration note

We had pre-registered the use of the positive and an unfavorable Affect Scale61. However, because of an monitor of the research study team, us accidentally collected data utilizing the brief Mood perform Scale40. In the SI, we replicate the outcomes using a subset that items, i beg your pardon overlap between the BMIS and also the PANAS-X. Offered that the two scales are highly correlated, re-publishing the exact same format, and even share some of the exact same descriptors, we perform not mean that the results would have actually been various when making use of the PANAS scale.

Reporting summary

Further information on research style is accessible in the study Reporting an introduction linked to this article.

Data for examine 1 are obtainable upon request to the authors. Data for examine 2 pertinent to the analyses explained are available on ours OSF web page ( Source data are noted with this paper.

Code come reproduce the analyses for examine 1 and also Study 2 explained herein is obtainable on OSF (


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