Self-transcendent emotions and social media: Exploring the content and consumers of inspirational Facebook posts

Katherine R. Dale, Arthur A. Raney, Qihao Ji, Sophie H. Janicke-Bowles, Joshua Baldwin, Jerrica T. Rowlett, Cen Wang, Mary Beth Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Although a great deal of research has examined the potential negative effects of Facebook, studies also show that Facebook use can lead to various positive effects. This study builds on this positive effects scholarship: together, the two studies presented herein aim to provide an understanding of the inspirational content available on Facebook and the way social media users in the United States encounter, recall, and interact with this content. Results from the quantitative content analysis in Study 1 show that inspirational Facebook posts contain similar frequencies of hope and appreciation of beauty and excellent elicitors when compared with other forms of media and social media. Results from the national survey conducted in Study 2 show that social media users are most often inspired by portrayals of kindness and overcoming obstacles and that Facebook users did not report different sharing behavior as compared with users of other social media sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-527
Number of pages21
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this