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Social Comparison Theory, Instagram, Content Analysis, Images, Messages


Social Comparison Theory explains how individuals evaluate their own opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to others in order to reduce uncertainty and learn how to define the self (Moore, 2007).

With Instagram, a social media application centered on sharing photos, becoming popular (Barry, Doucette, Loflin, Rivera-Hudson, & Herrington, 2017), it is important to look into the social comparison theory and see how individuals are affected by prominent Instagram accounts and images posted.

In recent years, a new trend, called Lifestyle Instagrammers, came about where people (mainly women) post images of every aspect of their lives demonstrating their “perfect” lifestyle and accompanied by crafted captions about the featured photo (Moon, Lee, Lee, Choi & Sung, 2016).

We noticed that sometimes the picture does not match the caption it is paired with (e.g: a photo of a family but is actually product placement for a company).

We hypothesized that there would be less relevance between caption and image while observing 20 popular accounts of white female Instagrammers.


The Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference showcases some of the best student research from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The mentored learning program encourages undergraduate students to participate in hands-on and practical research under the direction of a faculty member. Students create these posters as an aide in presenting the results of their research to the public, faculty, and their peers.

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

Is Every Picture Worth 1,000 Likes?: A Content Analysis of the Images and Messages on Popular Instagram Accounts