Final Exam Information

Elaborating Expectations for the Cumulative, Comprehensive Final Exam

  1. Target Article Integration: complete twice, once for each of two articles I will select from the three that are listed below (20 points x 2)
    1. Summary. Briefly summarize the article: what is the main research question, what is the basic method, what did the researchers find, and what can we learn from it. What type of research (translational, phenomenological, or novel, see Gosling & Mason, 2015) do you think it is and why? Your goal here is to show you can read and summarize an article. (8 points)
    2. Integration. Explain specifically how this research relates to at least one of our course themes. How does this article extend, qualify, support, and/or refute the research we read in this course? Feel free to integrate the articles in creative ways, including drawing together topics that seem unrelated at first but you see how they might lead to new hypotheses. In your answer, be sure to discuss at least one specific paper we have read that you have not used in another section of your exam (you may include others that are used elsewhere). Your goal here is to show you can connect new research to research you already know in a meaningful way. (7 points)
    3. Application. Describe an event or experience you have had or witnessed on social media (drawing from examples in Hermida’s book or from your own life are both welcomed strategies). Use ideas from the target article (and perhaps the theme more broadly) to explore that event. Your goal here is to show that you can use what you have learned here to interpret/explain/question social media events in new ways. (5 points)
  2. Model of Self (Refined) (20 points)
    1. Draw the Model. Pick 5 self-relevant variables we have explored throughout the term (e.g., social comparison, attachment style, self-esteem, extraversion, “Liking” behaviour, trolling). Arrange them in a model that summarizes how you see them fitting together. Use circles to capture each concept, and arrows to indicate the direction of influence from one variable to another. Briefly summarize each variable in a bullet point or a single sentence each. Your goal here is to show that you understand five of our course concepts and can imagine a way they can fit together (5 points)
    2. Explain the Model. In an accompanying narrative, explain why you drew those connections, particularly the direction of your arrows. Expand your discussion of two of those connections. In your expanded discussion, be sure to explain how at least two relevant research articles from our course back up your arrangement. Your goal here is to show that you can integrate concepts across the course, and can use research to back up claims. (10 points)
    3. Apply the Model. Think about your own social media engagement through the lens of your model (or part of it). How does (part of) your model help you explain/understand/question your social media engagement (however limited) before and after this course? In what way(s) might the experiences in this course have implications for your future life (e.g., your own behaviour, experience of self, or advice you give to others)? Your goal here is to show that at least part of your model resonates with at least one person’s lived experience. (5 points)
  3. Evaluating your own and a random peers’ final exam (10 points)
    1. Honesty and objectivity. Numerical scores awarded represent an honest assessment of one’s own and others’ work as it appears on paper in this moment. (2 points)
    2. Specificity and helpfulness of comments. For Parts 1 and 2, two critical comments are provided (four comments total). These comments capture both the strengths of the responses, as well as ways the responses could be improved. (4 comments x 2 points = 8 points)

Target Articles for Question 1

On the exam, you will be asked to complete Question 1 for two of these three articles. You will find out at the exam which two will be on.

  1. Black, E. W., Mezzina, K., & Thompson, L. A. (2016). Anonymous social media: Understanding the content and context of Yik Yak. Computers in Human Behavior, 57, 17-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.043
  2. Kolmes, K., & Taube, D. O. (2016). Client discovery of psychotherapist personal information online. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 47, 147-154. doi: 10.1037/pro0000065
  3. Verduyn, P., Lee, D. S., Park, J., Shablack, H., Orvell, A., Bayer, J., Ybarra, O., Jonides, J, & Kross, E. (2015). Passive Facebook usage undermines affective well-being: Experimental and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144, 480-488. doi: 10.1037/xge0000057


  • To refresh your memory of different draw from Piazza summaries and your notes from class discussion. We’ve been doing these kinds of activities together throughout this course with a wide variety of readings. Especially remember to consult notes from our in-class activity on the last day of class (Week 13 Thursday) which included scaffolding activities and examples for Question 2.
  • Don’t get too hung up on the methods and technicalities of the results for the Target Articles for Question 1. Ideas are key here, not minutia. Focus your efforts on answering the questions (which may not require you to read every single word).
  • You won’t be able to bring notes in to the exam. I suggest you prepare outlines of your responses for each question, and then practice writing complete answers while timing yourself. Then go back to your notes to evaluate your work and fill in gaps/things you missed or didn’t remember. The more times you can repeat this process, the more prepared you’ll be (see for a website that promotes this strongly-evidence-based effect).
  • After 1h50 (so at 8:50pm) I’ll ask you to stop writing on your own test. At 9pm we will begin the peer- and self-review portion. I’ll give you a new pen and a grading rubric that mirrors the expectations above. You’ll have until 10pm to complete it.

Draft of Impact Project Grading Rubric

Please take a look at the Impact Project grading rubric handout that you’ll be using (once it’s in its final form) next week to conduct your peer evaluations of each others’ papers. I tried to cut down the number of criteria, and did so the best I could, while also acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the papers you are producing.

Impact Project Final Submissions Rubric DRAFT

Does it seem reasonable, fair, and clear to you? What feedback, suggestions, or ideas do you have to make it better?

Why peer and self evaluation?

The skill I’m trying to develop here is the ability to give detailed, meaningful feedback that will help a colleague improve their work (in this case) and will evaluate colleagues’ work (in the future) — as per Course Learning Goals 5&6. Professionals are often asked to give formal and lengthy feedback to and about others — academia isn’t alone in this. For me, this kind of detailed feedback shows up in many ways. Of course I evaluate others’ work in my formal teaching, but also when I write recommendation letters for people I mentor, when I give feedback about whether my superiors warrant merit or go up for reappointment, when I write peer reviews of journal articles and books submitted for publication, when I evaluate colleagues’ portfolios when they apply for tenure and promotion, when I evaluate colleagues’ syllabi for new course creations… all require detailed, constructive and evaluative feedback that will help the person identify their strengths, weaknesses, and ways I think they can improve. Sometimes I have others’ criteria I can or must use, and sometimes I have to come up with my own criteria based on what I think is the best way to do things.
For our course, the feedback on the informal presentations and brief proposals might be partly similar across people. But I suspect if you give it further thought, there are specific things that you admire or consider particularly effective techniques, and aspects of the presentations that that you think were less successful. By identifying concrete examples — however small they may seem — you are giving actionable items people can build from. In doing so, you’re also identifying what makes proposals and presentations more and less effective so you can use that information in the future.

Impact Project Proposal Template

UPDATE: Added the peer- and self-evaluation criteria, which align with the proposal template.

Check out the template for your proposals that I just finished drafting…

Impact Project Proposal Form DRAFT

Impact Project Proposal Peer- and Self-Evaluation DRAFT

Do you think it is clear and helpful? Does something need clarification or changing? Please add your questions/comments/concerns/recommendations below.

Building the Syllabus

On January 19 at 5pm, our TA Natasha downloaded the data from the Journal Article Evaluation survey. There were 103 complete entries, each with two journal articles summarized and recommended (definitely, maybe, or not) with explanations. The first thing I did was remove all identifying information to ensure the final article selections were not influenced by the people who endorsed them (or didn’t).

Then the sorting began! There were 196 article recommendations to sift through, including some that were evaluated by one person, many by two people and one article that ended up being evaluated six times! Turns out there were 110 unique articles, but choosing them was complicated by some disagreement about which course theme the article did or did not exemplify, and whether the article would be a suitable read for our class.

Most students were very thoughtful in their recommendations. I’d like to code these entries for evidence of critical thinking… because there seemed to be a lot of that going on! People dug into the methods, considered the complexity of the article, considered its relationship to our shared overall mission of developing a Psychology of Self in Social Media, and so on and so on. (So that this awesomeness doesn’t sit idle in a file on my computer, on Tuesday Jan 19, our class agreed to work on a way to share/publish these reviews online for others’ benefit. More to come.)

After skimming through the whole list, I identified how many people had rated the articles and whether they endorsed them or not (2 points for a yes, 1 point for a maybe, 0 points for a no), which allowed me to create an index of consensus. For example, if two people rated an article and both thought it should go on the syllabus, that article got a score of 4. It was a rough guide that showed a few standout articles that became easy choices, and also cut out the articles that were squarely not recommended.

From there, I considered articles identified as relating to each course theme, and I read through the recommendations to select a shortlist of 21 articles. I considered some other things like particular journals, and whether the article’s message overlapped too much with another article more strongly endorsed. Sometimes articles that didn’t have complete consensus have made it through — in part to spur discussion, and sometimes because the arguments in favour were stronger than the arguments against. One thing I noticed was that the recommendations were uneven across topics, so we might see that some topics are explored with more readings than others are. For example, Development was identified as a theme of interest, but as a class we didn’t find too many articles to review that made it on the list, and those that were reviewed weren’t highly endorsed for the most part.

Here’s the shortlist of article titles, by theme. Overall, it took me about 4 hours to get to here from the raw data.


  • Having Responsive Facebook Friends Affects the Satisfaction of Psychological Needs More Than Having Many Facebook Friends
  • Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks
  • Romantic Relationship Stages and Social Networking Sites: Uncertainty Reduction Strategies and Perceived Relational Norms on Facebook
  • Relevant Hermida #TellEveryone readings: Chapter 1 The News Now; Chapter 2 Why We Share

Self-Concept and Self-Presentation

  • Can You Guess Who I Am? Real, Ideal, and False Self-Presentation on Facebook Among Emerging Adults
  • Identity Shift in Computer-Mediated Environments
  • Extended Self in a Digital World
  • Relevant Hermida #TellEveryone readings: Chapter 3 OMG! I have to tell you (see also Chapter 7 When consumers strike back)


  • Online self-presentation on Facebook and self development during the college transition.

Self-Esteem and Social Comparison

  • Social Comparisons on Social Media: The Impact of Facebook on Young Women’s Body Image Concerns and Mood
  • Why Following Friends Can Hurt You: An Exploratory Investigation of the Effects of Envy on Social Networking Sites among College-Age Users
  • When Social Networking Is Not Working: Individuals With Low Self-Esteem Recognize but Do Not Reap the Benefits of Self-Disclosure on Facebook
  • “Exercise to be fit, not skinny”: The effect of fitspiration imagery on women’s body image
  • Social Comparison, Social Media, Self-esteem
  • Relevant Hermida #TellEveryone readings: Chapter 4 The Daily We


  • College students’ academic motivation, media engagement and fear of missing out
  • Social Media Users Have Different Experiences, Motivations, and Quality of Life
  • Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age
  • Self-determination theory, social media and charitable causes: An in-depth analysis of autonomous motivation
  • Relevant Hermida #TellEveryone reading: Chapter 5 Voices that rise above the noise (see also Chapter 6 A nervous system for the planet; Chapter 9 The political power of a shared story)


  • Manifestations of Personality in Online Social Networks: Self-Reported Facebook-Related Behaviors and Observable Profile Information
  • Facebook Profiles Reflect Actual Personality, Not Self-Idealization
  • Automatic Personality Assessment Through Social Media Language
  • Who’s Posting Facebook Faux Pas? A cross-cultural Examination of Personality Differences
  • Trolls just want to have fun
  • Relevant Hermida #TellEveryone readings: Chapter 8 Truths, Lies, and Rumours

End-of-Term Integration

  • Relevant Hermida #TellEveryone readings: Chapter 10 The Way Ahead
  • And because it was so highly endorsed as being thoughtfully done and just a fun read, even though it’s not 100% totally on theme, I might just have to keep this for the end of term, or possibly as a “reading break” option on Reading Break: Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect?