Psychometric modeling of the pervasive use of Facebook through psychophysiological measures: Stress or optimal experience?

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Social network sites have been studied extensively with an aim to understand users' experience during their use. Facebook is the most frequently used social network site, with more than one billion active users. However, despite 819 million of active Facebook users currently accessing it using their mobile device, only a limited number of studies have investigated their experiences with Facebook. Our goal was to objectively verify in an experimental setting the subjective experience of users accessing Facebook through a PC and through a smart phone, which has a higher pervasiveness. Psychophysiological correlates of 28 subjects were measured using wearable biosensors, which record signals through an electrocardiogram; a 14-channel Electroencephalogram; facial Electromyography; an Electrooculogram, and a chest Respiration strip. An accurate signal processing permitted to compute twenty psychophysiological measures for the statistical analysis. The results showed significant patterns in arousal, valence, attention, and anxiety, indicating a subjects' engagement during Facebook navigation, which was also more evident during the mobile session, suggesting an optimal experience during the pervasive use of Facebook. Some hypotheses and the directions for future studies are presented, in particular, the suggestion to make further studies with higher ecological validity, outside the lab, to assess the ubiquitous use of Facebook.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-587
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Facebook
  • Mobile social networking
  • Psychological stress
  • Psychometric modeling
  • Psychophysiology
  • Social network sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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