All posts by Catherine Rawn

About Catherine Rawn

Senior Instructor at UBC; teaches learners in Intro Psychology (Psyc 101 & 102), quantitative research methods and statistics (Psyc 217 & 218), and others; heads Psychology's TA Development; co-writes quantitative research methods textbook; shows up. From Guelph Ontario; enjoys balcony gardening, good food, good wine; half-marathoner and occasional sprint triathlete; car-free; vegetarian; happily married; nemeses: bell peppers, aphids.

Draft Course Themes

Since the beginning of the course, we’ve been brainstorming potential themes. Thank you for your contributions! Here is the list of 8 that we’ll use for now. The list will be finalized along with the reading list after you have completed your Journal Article Evaluations.

Common Themes that have Emerged

1.Self-concept and self-presentation (e.g., what is the authentic self? how “real” or accurate is what people put online?)

2.Self-esteem and social comparison (e.g., how does other’s feedback affect the Self? how does what others put online affect how people feel about themselves?)

3.Motivation (e.g., what motivates people to use social media? how does social media promote/affect collective action?)

4.Personality (e.g., what are the personality traits of different social media users? can social media use influence people’s personality?)

5.Development (e.g., how does what people “author” about themselves on social media impact their Self over time? How might social media impact the Self of people who are growing up with it from birth?)

6.Relationships (e.g., does social media such as Tindr change or mirror dating culture? how does broadcasting aspects of relationships on social media affect the Self-actors in that relationship? does the ubiquity of social media change the way we interact with each other? if online vs face to face first impressions differ, does that impact the relationship? what aspects of Self lead to/affected by one-sided relationships like following celebrities on Twitter?)

Big Topics that may continue to come up (so let’s keep them in play)

7.Public/Private self with respect to ethics and privacy (e.g., does engaging in social media blur the line between public (self) and private (self)? should everything online be considered public behaviour? privacy issues? — could also bring in careers/professionalism here) 

8.Culture (e.g., is social media changing cultural narratives? if there are cross-cultural differences between social media users/engagement patterns, does that reflect different Self or lead to changes in Self or both?)


Happy New Year and welcome to Psyc 325: The Psychology of Self in Social Media!

This website functions as a living course syllabus, and will be continually updated throughout the term. Before class on Tuesday, start on the Essentials page and work your way through the site to learn about the course. Post a comment below if you have questions or concerns (or email me if they’re private). We’ll soon have other ways to communicate too.

Class begins on Tuesday January 5 at 11am. We will spend the full class period in dialogue. Please come prepared. Consult the Schedule for some guiding thoughts and readings. If you are unable to make it to this first class (or any class), you are responsible for catching up as soon as possible.

You’ll notice that the Schedule does not include a complete reading list. That’s because we’ll be building the bulk of it after our first assignment (due Jan 19), once you have provided your feedback on which articles you think are worthwhile for the class to read. Have some in mind already? Add them to this GoogleDoc list.

Although I hope you’re up for this exploration of The Psychology of Self in Social Media, this course design (like any course design) will not appeal to everyone. If you’re certain you’ll be dropping this course, please do so soon. There are some people hoping to join us.