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A risky investment? Examining the outcomes of emotional investment in Instagram

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 11:44 authored by Emily Lowe-CalverleyEmily Lowe-Calverley, Rachel Grieve, Christine PadgettChristine Padgett
Recent research demonstrates links between aspects of Instagram use and negative psychological outcomes. It is therefore important to be able to predict the users who may be at a greater risk of experiencing negative consequences as a result of their use. Instagram is an immersive platform and peoples’ behaviour on Instagram can be important to their self-concept and self-esteem; users are potentially deeply emotionally invested in their Instagram use. This paper presents three studies investigating an Instagram-specific form of emotional investment – Instagram Investment. Study 1 (N = 167) examined Instagram Investment as a predictor of depression, anxiety, and stress, within a series of hierarchical multiple regression models, and demonstrated the potential utility of Instagram Investment for the prediction of depression and stress. In Study 2 (N = 120) we expanded our understanding of Instagram Investment within the context of self-esteem. A mediation model revealed an indirect effect of number of followers on self-esteem via Instagram Investment. Finally, in Study 3 (N = 259) we examined the structural properties of the 6 items used to measure Instagram Investment using a confirmatory factor analysis. Together, these studies demonstrate that Instagram Investment is a new and valuable construct for explaining the way that individuals are impacted by their use of Instagram.


Publication title

Telematics and Informatics








School of Psychological Sciences


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology

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