EDU 508 Research Paper Part 1- The Foundation

Research Paper Part 1- The Foundation

Educational Research Methods

Purpose of your research

Social media is a very important development in the modern information age and it has its boons and banes. Social media is used for a number of purposes and has helped people at the personal as well as the professional level. The companies have been able to cut costs on travelling because of the help from social media and it has also cost them their reputation and sales when an unhappy customer has a left a negative feedback on a social media website. Facebook is a type of social media network which was originally developed by college students for fulfilment of social needs of the college students like them. It has over the time become an important tool for businesses as well.

The purpose of this research is to understand the reasons for which college students use Facebook. The research also aims to find out about the positive and negative impacts of the use on their psychology, academics and overall personality.

Problem statement

To find out the impact of Facebook use on college students from a psychological, academic and overall personality point of view.

Summary of the literature collected

The first article chosen for the purpose of this paper is, ‘Facebook and academic performance: reconciling a media sensation with data’. This is written by Josh Pasek, Eian more, and Eszter Hargittai. The purpose of the research is to find the authenticity of a recent draft manuscript data which suggests that Facebook use is associated with low grades among college students. The problem statement is to replicate the results reported in the press release and to determine if there is a relationship between Facebook use and Grade Point Average.

The findings of the research are that there is no relationship between Facebook use and GPA and in fact in one of the samples Facebook use is higher among good graders. This article covers the academic impact aspect of the chosen research topic on the impact of Facebook use on college students. It helps understand the academic linkage that is assumed to exist.

The second article chosen for the purpose of this paper is, ‘Feeling bad on Facebook: depression disclosures by college students on a social networking site.’ This is written by Moreno, etal. The purpose of the research is to evaluate college students’ Facebook disclosures that met DSM criteria for a depression symptom or a major depressive episode (MDE). College students commonly display symptoms consistent with depression on Facebook and when they get reinforcement from their friends, they are more likely to share their depressive symptoms of Facebook. The web profiles were evaluated from only one SNS and one university and hence the findings cannot be generalized.

The results were that overall, 25% of profiles disclosed one or more depressive symptoms on status updates and out of this only 2.5% met the DSM criteria for a major depressive episode.

The third article chosen for the purpose of this answer is, ‘You have been poked: exploring the uses and gratifications of Facebook among emerging adults.’ Written by Brett, A. Bumgarner. The purpose of the research is to find the reason for Facebook use among students and the manner in which it fulfils their needs. The problem statement is since the inception of Facebook, it has become one of the most popular websites for social networking site and it is very popular among college students. It is important to know the motivations behind Facebook use and how it gratifies these motivations.

The research finds out that the most popular reason for using Facebook is as a social utility and it acts as a virtual watering hole that dispenses information about peers.

The fourth article is, ‘Just talk to me: communicating with college students about depression disclosures on Facebook.’ It is written by Whitehill JM1, Brockman LN, Moreno MA. The purpose of the research is to determine acceptability, preferred communication medium, and other key considerations for intervention by friends, professors or resident advisors, and strangers in response to college students’ references to depression on the social networking site Facebook. Mental health disorders have become very common among the youth and it is important to find out ways to help them get diagnosed and treated through mediums that are friendlier for them.

In-person communication from friends or trusted adults is the preferred means for raising concerns about a student’s signs of depression displayed on Facebook.

Gaps in the literature

The first gap in the literature is that the research doesn’t take into account the changes in the technology of Facebook that ca appear because the technology is so dynamic. The current findings might not be as relevant. In fact even in the current times, lots of changes have been introduced to the Facebook like changes in chat settings, privacy settings, calling facility, etc and these are likely to have a different impact on the college students.

The second limitation lies with the sample size because of the sample being limited to a single college and students from different academic backgrounds are not accounted for.

Research question or hypothesis of your topic

The first research question is, ‘why do college students use Facebook?’ The second one is, ‘ does Facebook use lead to lower grades?’ third one is, ‘do students compare themselves with others and develop lower self esteem?’ and the final one is , ‘ is Facebook a window to the mental health of our children?’

Purposed theory of your research

The theory for this research is the formal information theory is becoming applied in the present times when information processing, communication and control has become central to all aspects of human society and social behaviour. The mechanisms of social control are also expanding because of the achievement of the higher degrees of organization in society. In order to ensure that this control is efficient enough, a considerable amount of information needs to be collected about the participants.

Some aspects of the privacy regulation theory and social networking theory will also be applied to the research. The social networking theory is about how the people, organizations, or groups interact with others inside their network, the article discusses the kind of Facebook usage present among students. The places where they access it, the time for which they do, the kind of sites they use and the purpose for which they use it.


Pasek, J., more, e., & Hargittai, E. (2009). Facebook and academic performance: Reconciling a media sensation with data. First Monday, 14(5). doi:10.5210/fm.v14i5.2498

Moreno, M. A., Jelenchick, L. A., Egan, K. G., Cox, E., Young, H., Gannon, K. E., & Becker, T. (2011). Feeling Bad on Facebook: Depression disclosures by college students on a Social Networking Site. Depression and Anxiety, 28(6), 447–455. doi:10.1002/da.20805

Bumgarner, B. (2007). You have been poked: Exploring the uses and gratifications of Facebook among emerging adults. First Monday, 12(11). doi:10.5210/fm.v12i11.2026

Whitehill, J. M., Brockman, L. N., & Moreno, M. A. (2013). “Just Talk to Me”: Communicating With College Students About Depression Disclosures on Facebook. The Journal of Adolescent Health : Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 52(1), 122–127. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.09.015

Barnes, 2006. A privacy paradox: social networking in the United States. Retrieved from on April 23rd, 2015.

Muñoz, C., & Towner, T. (2011). Back to the “wall”: How to use Facebook in the college classroom. First Monday, 16(12). doi:10.5210/fm.v16i12.3513

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