Using eye tracking to explore Facebook use and associations with Facebook addiction, mental well-being, and personality

Hussain, Z. ORCID: 0000-0002-7678-6615, Simonovic, B., Stupple, E.J.N. and Austin, M., 2019. Using eye tracking to explore Facebook use and associations with Facebook addiction, mental well-being, and personality. Behavioral Sciences, 9 (2), p. 19. ISSN 2076-328X

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Social networking sites (SNSs) have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives, and for all its communicative benefits, excessive SNS use has been associated with a range of negative health implications. In the present study, the authors use eye-tracking methodology to explore the relationship between individual differences in personality, mental well-being, SNS usage, and the focus of Facebook users’ visual attention. Participants (n = 69, mean age = 23.09, SD = 7.54) completed questionnaire measures for personality and to examine changes in depression, anxiety, stress, and self-esteem. They then engaged in a Facebook session while their eye movements and fixations were recorded. These fixations were coded as being directed to social and update areas of interest (AOI) of the Facebook interface. An exploratory analysis of personality factors revealed a negative correlation between openness to experience and inspection times for the updates AOI and an unexpected negative relationship between extraversion and inspection times for social AOI. There were correlations between changes in depression score and inspection of updates AOI, with reduced depression scores associated with increased inspection of updates. Finally, self-reported duration of participants’ typical Facebook sessions did not correlate with eye-tracking measures but were associated with increased Facebook addiction scores and greater increases in depression scores. These initial findings indicate that there are differences in the outcomes of interacting with Facebook which can vary based on Facebook addiction, personality variables, and the Facebook features that individuals interact with.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Behavioral Sciences
Creators: Hussain, Z., Simonovic, B., Stupple, E.J.N. and Austin, M.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 2019
Volume: 9
Number: 2
ISSN: 2076-328X
Rights: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution. (CC BY) license (
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Dec 2019 14:40
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2019 14:47

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