Social media as a tool for data collection: examining equivalence of socially value-Laden constructs
Grieve, R and Witteveen, K and Tolan, GA, Social media as a tool for data collection: examining equivalence of socially value-Laden constructs, Current Psychology, 33, (4) pp. 532-544. ISSN 1046-1310 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Given the changing online environment (from anonymity to social connection) and the importance of establishing equivalence in psychological measures used in online environments, the aim of this research was to examine the equivalence of socially value-laden measures with data sourced from web-based social media and traditional pen-and-paper methods. Data on a suite of socially value-laden measures comparing the equivalence of scores obtained via social media (Facebook) versus offline environments were considered. Participants (N = 193) completed measures of primary and secondary psychopathy, emotional manipulation, emotional intelligence, interpersonal cognition, social desirability, and ethical position either online or using pen-and-paper in a between groups design. Results suggested that both social media and offline data were equivalent in terms of internal reliability and patterns of relationships among constructs. However, participants were more likely to report higher levels of ethical relativism when completing the measure via social media. These findings highlight the importance of establishing equivalence for specific measures when engaging in online data collection, as well as providing insight into the nature of self-disclosure in the social media environment. Future research should assess the equivalence of other socially value-laden measures in online and pen-and-paper environments.
assessment. equivalence, facebook, internet, social media, social networking