The Impact of Recommendation Systems on Social Media Consumption and Mental Well-being

Introduction: Highly visual social media platforms have grown in popularity, and they do exceptionally well at keeping their users online by making use of IT technologies such as recommendation systems. However, concerns have been raised regarding the negative impact excessive use of social media can have on the mental state of its users. One study, in particular, showed that watching personalized content stimulates dopamine-rich areas of the brain more than watching non-personalized content. Aims: As a result, one of the objectives of this master's thesis is to investigate the extent to which it influences increased social media consumption, its effect on the mental state of the user, and how much can be attributed to the use of recommendation systems. It also seeks to determine how users feel about being subjected to such tools. Methods: An empirical analysis will be conducted to examine the potential relationship between the variables, and an interview will be conducted to gain additional insight into the users' perceptions of these tools. Results: The first hypothesis that users who consume a higher ratio of recommended content have a higher usage time had to be rejected as the correlation coefficient was not statistically significant. However, the second hypothesis, that watching an increased amount of recommended content decreases the mental well-being of the users, was accepted. The model is able to explain about 7.49% of the variance in the mental well-being score. Conclusions: It can be concluded that the amount of recommended content consumed affects mental well-being, but it is not the only factor that does so. The additional findings from the interviews support this statement, as depression, regret, and exhaustion were the most frequently reported emotions after a lengthy session of scrolling through recommended content.

Loosli, Mauritius Joseph, 2022

Art der Arbeit Master Thesis
Betreuende Dozierende Hanne, Thomas
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Studiengang: Business Information Systems (Master)
Vertraulichkeit: öffentlich
Art der Arbeit
Master Thesis
Autorinnen und Autoren
Loosli, Mauritius Joseph
Betreuende Dozierende
Hanne, Thomas
Sprache der Arbeit
Business Information Systems (Master)
Standort Studiengang