Social Media and Well-being: A Methodological Perspective

Douglas A Parry, Jacob T. Fisher, Hannah Mieczkowski, Craig J.R. Sewall, Brit Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)
186 Downloads (Pure)


Due to the methodological challenges inherent in studying social media use (SMU), as well as the methodological choices that have shaped research into the effects of SMU on well-being, clear conclusions regarding relationships between SMU and well-being remain elusive. We provide a review of five methodological developments poised to provide increased understanding in this domain: (a) increased use of longitudinal and experimental designs; (b) the adoption of behavioural (rather than self-report) measures of SMU; (c) focusing on more nuanced aspects of SMU; (d) embracing effect heterogeneity; and (e) the use of formal modelling and machine learning. We focus on how these advances stand to bring us closer to understanding relations between SMU and well-being, as well as the challenges associated with these developments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101285
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Early online date8 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022


  • Media effects
  • Methodology
  • SNS
  • Social media
  • Social media use
  • Social networking sites
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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