Instagram and self perception in adolescents

Published: 04-09-2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/rxs6hgr5wn.1
Sabrina Cipolletta


This dataset contains indices of Repertory grids of 40 Italian adolescents between 11 and 16 years old. Repertory grids were analyzed with the Idiogrid software programme, allowing a range of measures (Cipolletta, 2011) to be calculated. Some involved Euclidean distances between elements (ranging from 0 to 2, with a higher distance indicating greater construed dissimilarity between the elements concerned). The Repertory Grid Technique (Fransella, Bell & Bannister, 2004; Kelly, 1955) is a semi-structured interview underpinned by personal construct theory, and consists of elements and constructs. For the repertory grid used in the present study, elements included self on Instagram, offline self, ideal self, future self, past self (before using Instagram), how others see me, the person I like, the person I do not like, mum, dad, my best friend, my body now, my body in the past, self after the “like”, and self after no like. The constructs were elicited through the triadic method, presenting sets of three elements and asking, for each triad, for a way in which two of the elements were similar and, thereby, different from the third (Fransella, Bell & Bannister, 2004). The participant was then asked to rate the elements on each construct on a -3/+3 point scale, which represented the bipolarity of the constructs. The Repertory Grid Technique was used to investigate adolescents’ self-construction as Instagram users. The entire procedure required about one and a half hours to complete. References Cipolletta, S. (2011). Self construction and interpersonal distances of juveniles living in residential communities. Journal of constructivist psychology, 24, 122-143. doi: 10.1080/10720537.2011.548218. Cipolletta, S., Malighetti, C., Serino, S., Riva, G., & Winter, D. (2017). Intrapersonal, interpersonal, and physical space in anorexia nervosa: a virtual reality and repertory grid investigation. Psychiatry research, 252, 87-93. doi: 0.1016/j.psychres.2017.02.060. Fransella, F., Bell, R., & Bannister, D. (2004). A Manual for Repertory Grid Technique. Chichester, England: Wiley. Kelly, G. A. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: Norton. Norris, H., & Markhlouf-Norris, F. (1976). The measurement of sel-identity. In: P. Slater (Eds.), Explorations in intrapersonal space, vol. 1. London: Wiley. Winter, D. (2003). Repertory grid technique as a psychotherapy research measure. Psychotherapy research. Journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, 13, 25–42. doi: 10.1093/ptr/kpg005.


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The dataset contains the following variables: • • id: patients' unique identifier • gender: patients' gender (M/F) • Looking-glass self, the distance “offline self-how others see me”, “self on Instagram-how others see me”, and “self after like-how others see me”; • Change, the Euclidean distances “offline self-past self”, “self on Instagram-past self”, and self after like-past self”; • Self-acceptance, the distances “offline self-ideal self”, “self on Instagram-ideal self”, and “self after like-ideal self”, with less the distance the higher the self-acceptance; • Social isolation, the mean distance of “offline self”, self on Instagram”, and “self after like” from the other elements of the grids referring to other people (father, mother, friend), which indicates that a person sees him/herself as being unlike anybody he knows, thus, representing him/herself as being alone (Norris and Makhlouf-Norris, 1976). • Social Desirability, the distances “offline self-a person I like” and “self on Instagram-a person I like”, “self after like-a person I like”, with the less the distance, the higher the desirability. • Constriction, the number of midpoint ratings of particular elements in the grid; • Polarisation, the number of extreme ratings (-3 and +3) of particular elements in the grid.