Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2016

Thesis Advisor(s)

Mohammad Maifi Hasan Khan

Honors Major

Computer Science and Engineering


Computer Engineering | Psychology | Risk Analysis | Science and Technology Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The rapid growth of computers and computing technologies in the recent past has led to dramatic changes in modern social interactions. Connectivity through the internet and social networking sites is a massive part of people's lives, with younger generations learning to interact more and more through these means. It is necessary to recognize the emotional influence of these forms of communication- their influence on mental health will grow as they become a larger part of the social fabric. Facebook and other social media have been shown to be a form of emotional contagion; emotional states can be transferred from one person to another through social media posts. Also, personality has been correlated with different types of social media use. This study examined the connection between personality traits and emotional contagion through Facebook. Subjects are first evaluated on the Big Five and self-esteem; then they view a mock Facebook post and report on their mood state. Individuals who are less extraverted, less agreeable, less conscientious, more neurotic, and have lower self-esteem are more prone to the emotional influence of negative social media content. Knowing the susceptibility of different individuals to social media’s emotional influence motivates better consideration of Facebook and social media as influences on mental health.