Effects of users' envy and shame on social comparison that occurs on social network services

Myungsuh Lim, Yoon Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


In the context of the social network service environment, we explore how discrete emotions - envy and shame, in particular - may mediate the effects of social comparison on behavior intention and psychological responses. Based on the survey responses of 446 university students, the results suggest that social comparison to media figures correlates with a range of emotional responses as well as with behavioral intention and psychological responses. Envy maintained a significantly greater association with switch intention as a behavioral intention compared to shame. Conversely, shame was significantly related to burnout as a psychological response. Further, mediational analyses were consistent with the argument that envy and shame mediate the social comparison-outcome variables relationship. This research helps to illuminate the driving mechanism for the emotional effect that social comparison on social network service could elicit from a user. This predicts the nature of the behavioral and psychological outcome associated with the comparison and has implications for an enhanced understanding of the way in which the unique social network service communication environment may stimulate this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-311
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue numberPA
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Sangji University Research Fund , 2014

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Envy
  • Shame
  • Social comparison
  • Social network service


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