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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Reem Ayouby, Supply Chain and Business Technology Management

Social Media: Perceptions, Use, and Impact. A Motives Perspective.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Daniela Ferrer



When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


This dissertation addresses the mixed findings regarding the impacts of social media use on individuals. The literature extensively discusses the negative effects on users, such as social media addiction; however, there are some counter arguments for positive impacts. This dissertation asks:
1. What are the social impacts of social media use?
2. How does the interaction between implicit motives and perceived social media functionality influence use and consequently the social impacts?
3. How does emotion-regulation moderate the relationship between social media use and social impacts?

To answer these questions, a theoretical framework is proposed to explain social media use impacts. It examines the factors contributing to the social impacts by considering: (i) user’s implicit motives while controlling for explicit motives; (ii) their perceived social media functionality; (iii) their resulting use behaviour; (iv) their self-regulation ability; and (v) the impacts of the social media use on well-being as proxy to social impacts.

Next, the construct of perceived social media functionality is operationalized by focusing on one platform—Facebook—and developing a measure of perceived Facebook functionality. The validated construct reveals seven dimensions of perceived Facebook functionality (relationships, sharing, persona, presence, entertaining, learning, and transactional).

Finally, this measure is used to operationalize the theoretical framework, resulting in a testable research model. The findings show that four perceived Facebook functionalities (PFF) are dominant in influencing Facebook use. Specifically, PFF learning, PFF entertaining, PFF persona, and PFF presence. Facebook use explains a significant amount of variation in the brief inventory of thriving, especially once the prediction-oriented segmentation algorithm segregates the data into two groups. In the first, Facebook use has a negative impact on thriving. Difficulties in emotion regulation, which impact thriving directly, compound this effect by also interacting with Facebook use’s effect on thriving. This reveals that the Facebook users with negative outcomes are using Facebook because of difficulties in self-regulation (an interaction effect). In the second group, Facebook use has a strong positive impact on thriving and no interaction effect with difficulties in emotion regulation.

This work concludes with a discussion of contributions to theory and practice, limitations, and future research directions.

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