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Is Instagram behavior motivated by a desire to belong?

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Does a desire to belong and perceived social support drive a person’s frequency of Instagram use? The relationship between these motivating factors as predictors of Instagram use are published in a new study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

“Desire to Belong Affects Instagram Behavior and Perceived Social Support” was coauthored by Dorothy Wong, Krestina Amon, and Melanie Keep, University of Sydney (Australia). The researchers found that a desire to belong was a significant positive predictor of more frequent Instagram use and perceived social support in general and from friends and significant others. However, frequency of Instagram use did not predict perceived social support, and therefore it did not mediate the relationship between motivation and social support.

“In his well-known ‘Hierarchy of Needs,’ Abraham Maslow found the need to belong is one of the five innate human needs,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. “Understanding how Instagram and other image-based SNS may help individuals fulfill this need is important as more of our lives are played out online.”

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