Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Leah McConnell 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

Leah McConnell is a soon-to-be graduate of the Practice Path of Applied Psychology in IADT. Before joining the course in 2020, she studied Applied Psychology in Blackrock Further Education Institute (BFEI). Leah has an interest in the areas of abnormal psychology, and forensic psychology. Leah has experience in the field of Psychology with volunteering experience with Barretstown and working with Saint John of God Community Services (SJOG), supporting adults of all ages with intellectual disabilities, from her final year in IADT. Leah is undecided on her specialisation and is taking a gap year to gain more experience with SJOG.

Project Description

The research question was: Is there a relationship between personality traits and weekly social media usage? There were five hypotheses for this study which consisted of a positive linear relationship between the traits of Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Openness to experience and weekly social media usage and an undirected linear relationship between the traits of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and weekly social media usage. The online survey questionnaire was through Microsoft Forms. In the consent form, participants were asked to tick that they were a resident of Ireland and had either an iPhone or Samsung mobile phone. Demographic questions were asked, including age and gender, followed by the BFI-10 personality test their phone type, and if they used social media. Participants were asked approximate weekly social media usage hours, via the mobile phone settings application. Data of 115 participants underwent a statistical analysis using a quantitative multiple linear regression analysis.

Project Objectives

The main objective of this study was to address gaps in existing literature by investigating the relationship between personality traits and weekly social media usage among residents of Ireland. This method was distinct from previous studies that relied on social media usage questionnaires.

Project Outcomes

Results suggested no overall significance in the personality traits to predict weekly social media usage and the multiple linear regression model was not statistically significant. Although there were no major significant results, there was a weak negative relationship between the trait of Agreeableness and weekly social media usage, suggesting this personality trait may have more of an impact and more research should be investigated into this. The findings addressed gaps in literature by conducting it on residents of Ireland and asking participants weekly social media usage hours. The findings of this study may be applied in future studies, longitudinally, to further build on the complex interplay between the personality traits and social media usage to see if there are patterns or changes over time. Considering social media usage is continuing to evolve, with many individuals using it every day, it was also suggested future studies explore it further, adding the concept of well-being. Adding this concept would be beneficial to understand the negative and positive attributes social media brings and may also offer insight into why each personality trait engages with it.

Thesis Title

Exploring the Relationship between Personality Traits and Weekly Social Media Usage