DAN Management Faculty in the News

Professor Matthew Maxwell-Smith was featured in the Western News on March 2. 

Study: Narcissism and desire to belong leading to deception on social media

Excerpt from Western News

Matthew Maxwell-Smith, visiting professor in the DAN Management and Organizational Studies Department, and co-author of the study, said when you extrapolate these numbers and look at all the emerging adults on Instagram, you’re talking close to 25 million people who are being deceptive in order to maintain an image or popularity on the site.

“This seems to be more deceptive, and voluntarily intending to present a false image, than just finding a good image of yourself,” said Maxwell-Smith.

We need to look into the implications of this in regards to the self-esteem and self-competency of young adults, he added.

“One thing that seems to be a pretty good takeaway is people who score pretty strong on peer belonging are less likely to engage in deceptive like seeking. The reason they are doing it (on Instagram) is they are trying to document their lives to others and trying to share,” he added. “So it’s not necessarily the case if you’re on Instagram, and you’re uploading a photo, it means you’re a narcissist. It could also mean you feel you belong within your peer group and you just want to share. There are probably positive and social benefits to using Instagram.”

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