Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Honors Project


College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Paula Mullineaux


The rapid rise in social media platforms has led to an increase of research surrounding its uses and effects. Thus far, results are heavily mixed with researchers finding both positive and negative effects. Activist campaigns, such as Status of Mind, have chosen to highlight negative outcomes such as increased social comparison and fear of missing out (FOMO). They have proposed platforms introduce a label to be placed on edited posts to help remind viewers they have been altered and are not an accurate depiction of reality. The current study examines whether labels are effective in reducing social comparison and FOMO in Instagram. Additionally, traits such as personality and perceived peer belonging and their connection to susceptibility to engage in social comparison and FOMO were assessed. College students (N = 46) viewed crafted Instagram posts both with and without edit labels and were asked to rate themselves on scales of social comparison and FOMO. Participants engagement in social comparison and FOMO were not significantly different across the two conditions indicating that the addition of the label had no effect. Likewise, perceived peer belonging and personality were not linked to greater social comparison or FOMO. Future studies should continue to explore this possibility with larger sample sizes and more specific measures to determine if labels are truly able to reduce social comparison and FOMO.








Departmental Honors Projects

Included in

Psychology Commons