A total of 40 undergraduate female students (mean age = 20.
59 years, SD = 1.07) from two telecommunication classes at Mississippi state university were participated in this study for no extra credit. The sample was 57.5% White, 25% African-American, 7.
5% Hispanic, 5% Asian, and 5% of an ethnicity other than those listed or of a mixed background. Also, seventeen students out of all participants had “Single” relationship status while other 23 had “in a relationship” relationship status in their Facebook profile information. Participants were recruited randomly by utilizing a table of random numbers. If a prospective participant was chosen and was not an active Facebook user with the consent for participating for the study, the researcher proceeded to the next eligible student and continued the random selection from there. Most of the students were originally active Facebook users before college (70%), though some did after they began college (30%).
However, almost all students in those classes were members of Facebook. To collect the demographic and background information of the participants, a questioner was given. In addition to the age and ethnicity variables, Facebook use history, Facebook visit, and Facebook activeness variables were measured. Facebook use history was measured by the question “Approximately, how long have you had your Facebook profile?” The five answer choices used were “4 years before (1),” “3 year before (2),” “2 years before (3),” “1 year before (4),” “6 months before (5),”. Facebook visit variable was measured by the question “How often do you log on to Facebook?” The five responses were “monthly (1),” “weekly (2),” “daily (3),” “several times a day (4),” “hourly/multiple times a day (5)”. Facebook activeness was measured by the question “During the past week, how much of the time you were on Facebook was spent doing activities, such as posting on people’s wall, posting photos, messaging, chatting, etc?”. The Attractiveness of female Facebook users was measures by the number of friend requests they got from unaware men.
2.3 ProcedureAll participants were asked to set their profile pictures to photos of them on their own (alone) and to count the friend requests they got from random men over 3 weeks. Then to switch those pictures to photos of them with a man (couple) and record their friend requests from random men over 3 weeks. In both cases, the appropriateness of the participants’ profile pictures was confirmed by the researcher. Throughout the study, their relationship status was kept unchanged.
3. ResultsTo evaluate the hypothesis, profile picture type and the relationship status of a female social network user affect the number of friend requests from unknown men, a mixed model analysis with two factors, Relationship status (between-subject factor) and Profile picture type (within-subject factor) was conducted. There was a significant main effect of the profile picture type on the frequency of getting friend requests from random men, F(1, 38) = 114.
77, p < .001, ?p2 = .75; there was a significant main effect of relationship status, F(1, 38) = 16.29, p < .001, ?p2 = .
30; and a significant interaction effect between the relationship status and the profile picture type, F(1, 38) = 7.41, p = .01, ?p2 = .16. As shown in Figure 1, Facebook users with “Single” relationship status could attract more men than the users with “In a relationship” status either with alone or couple profile pictures. Moreover, the users with “Single” relationship status could attract more men when they used their single or alone photos as their profile pictures than they used couple photos.
Descriptive statistics are given in the table 1.