Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Campbell, Kelly


Social networking sites (SNSs) are growing in popularity and diversity. Prior research has shown that SNSs use is correlated with various personality traits including narcissism. To date, no work has examined the association between SNSs use and self-actualization. Given the potential overlap of narcissism and self-actualization, the goal of the present study was to first examine the conceptual overlap of these two intrapersonal characteristics. We then sought to examine the associations between SNSs use, narcissism, and self-actualization with an expectation that self-actualization would mediate the association between SNSs use and narcissism. One thousand six hundred and four adults completed an online survey with questions to assess their demographic traits, SNSs activities, and personality characteristics. Results indicated some overlap between narcissism and self-actualization; but, in general, each was a distinct personality trait. Results also demonstrated that the association between self-actualization and SNSs usage was not significant. Contrary to our prediction, self-actualization did not mediate the association between SNSs activities and narcissism. Finally, the study found that narcissism scores were reportedly higher after using SNSs than they were prior to SNSs use.