Human social interactions ensure recognition and approval from others, both in offline and online environments. This study applies a model from behavioral genetics on Instagram sociability to explore the impact of individual development on behavior on social networks. We hypothesize that sociable attitudes on Instagram resulted from an interaction between serotonin transporter gene alleles and the individual’s social relationship with caregivers. We assess the environmental and genetic components of 57 Instagram users. The self-report questionnaire Parental Bonding Instrument is adopted to determine the quality of parental bonding. The number of posts, followed users (“followings”), and followers are collected from Instagram as measures of online social activity. Additionally, the ratio between the number of followers and followings (“Social Desirability Index”) was calculated to estimate the asymmetry of each user’s social network. Finally, buccal mucosa cell samples were acquired, and the polymorphism rs25531 (T/T homozygotes vs. C-carriers) within the serotonin transporter gene was examined. In the preliminary analysis, we identified a gender effect on the number of followings. In addition, we specifically found a gene–environment interaction on the standardized Instagram “Social Desirability Index” in line with our predictions. Users with the genotype more sensitive to environmental influences (T/T homozygotes) showed a higher Instagram “Social Desirability Index” than nonsensitive ones (C-carriers) when they experienced positive maternal care. This result may contribute to understanding online social behavior from a gene*environment perspective.

The Interaction between Serotonin Transporter Allelic Variation and Maternal Care Modulates Instagram Sociability in a Sample of Singaporean Users

Bonassi Andrea;Cataldo Ilaria;Lepri Bruno;
2022

Abstract

Human social interactions ensure recognition and approval from others, both in offline and online environments. This study applies a model from behavioral genetics on Instagram sociability to explore the impact of individual development on behavior on social networks. We hypothesize that sociable attitudes on Instagram resulted from an interaction between serotonin transporter gene alleles and the individual’s social relationship with caregivers. We assess the environmental and genetic components of 57 Instagram users. The self-report questionnaire Parental Bonding Instrument is adopted to determine the quality of parental bonding. The number of posts, followed users (“followings”), and followers are collected from Instagram as measures of online social activity. Additionally, the ratio between the number of followers and followings (“Social Desirability Index”) was calculated to estimate the asymmetry of each user’s social network. Finally, buccal mucosa cell samples were acquired, and the polymorphism rs25531 (T/T homozygotes vs. C-carriers) within the serotonin transporter gene was examined. In the preliminary analysis, we identified a gender effect on the number of followings. In addition, we specifically found a gene–environment interaction on the standardized Instagram “Social Desirability Index” in line with our predictions. Users with the genotype more sensitive to environmental influences (T/T homozygotes) showed a higher Instagram “Social Desirability Index” than nonsensitive ones (C-carriers) when they experienced positive maternal care. This result may contribute to understanding online social behavior from a gene*environment perspective.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Bonassi et al, 2022 - IJERPH.pdf

accesso aperto

Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 520.79 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
520.79 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/332567
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
social impact