The Effects of Other-Generated and System-Generated Cues on Adolescents' Perceived Attractiveness on Social Network Sites



The aim of this study was to investigate to what extent other-generated and system-generated cues on social network sites (SNS) influence the popularity and attractiveness of adolescents. In a 2 (friends' physical attractiveness: attractive, unattractive) ×2 (friends' wall postings: positive, negative) ×3 (number of friends: low, average, high) factorial experiment, 497 high school students between 12 and 15 years of age were randomly assigned to one of the twelve experimental conditions. Results revealed that the profile owner of a SNS was perceived as being more attractive when the profile includes attractive friends and positive wall postings. The profile owners' number of friends did not affect the perceived attractiveness of the profile-owner, only the perceived extraversion.