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Evolutionary Psychology, Social Emotions and Social Networking Sites -- An Integrative Model
Unformatted Document Text:  EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL EMOTIONS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES – AN INTEGRATIVE MODEL Introduction While most research describes the characteristics of the behavior found on Social Networking Sites (SNS), such as impression management and self-presentation, they fail to identify what function the behavior could serve individuals from an evolutionary or adaptive point of view, and why this mediated tool is used so widely cross-culturally. Through the lens of Evolutionary Psychology (EP), the purpose of this research is the investigation of a possible correlation between social emotions and social networking sites, helping to provide a new perspective on how we investigate phenomena in human behavior relative to Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). No research to date has used EP, or biological criterion, as a model in investigating CMC except for studies conducted by Reeves and Nass (2002) where they found people treat newer media as social actors. In 2008 more people were using the internet for SNS searches than they were pornography (Hitwise, 2008). As of 2011, there are over 500 million Facebook users (digitalbuzz, 2010). The question is why has SNS become so popular? The worldwide development and evolution of SNS might be demonstrating a fundamental need or aspect of human behavior for it possesses cross-national characteristics which implies universalities in human nature. Human nature suggests human biology (Buss, 1995). Our bodies are composed of biochemical structures called emotions. Emotive devices along with the brain and body proper (also known as an interwoven organism) constantly respond to environmental stimulus. They are designed in a way that is appropriate to the needs of the organism. Emotions drive and guide behavior. These innate mechanisms also are especially attuned for responding to social triggers 3

Authors: Suran, Sandra., Pettey, Gary., Bracken, Cheryl. and Whitbred, Robert.
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EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL EMOTIONS AND SOCIAL
NETWORKING SITES – AN INTEGRATIVE MODEL
Introduction 
While most research describes the characteristics of the behavior found on Social 
Networking Sites  (SNS), such as impression management and self-presentation, they fail to 
identify what function the behavior could serve individuals from an evolutionary or adaptive 
point of view, and why this mediated tool is used so widely cross-culturally. Through the lens of 
Evolutionary Psychology (EP), the purpose of this research is the investigation of a possible 
correlation between social emotions and social networking sites, helping to provide a new 
perspective on how we investigate phenomena in human behavior relative to Computer 
Mediated Communication (CMC).  No research to date has used EP, or biological criterion, as a 
model in investigating CMC except for studies conducted by Reeves and Nass (2002) where they 
found people treat newer media as social actors.
 In 2008 more people were using the internet for SNS searches than they were 
pornography (Hitwise, 2008). As of 2011, there are over 500 million Facebook users 
(digitalbuzz, 2010). The question is why has SNS become so popular? The worldwide 
development and evolution of SNS might be demonstrating a fundamental need or aspect of 
human behavior for it possesses cross-national characteristics which implies universalities in 
human nature. Human nature suggests human biology (Buss, 1995).  Our bodies are composed of 
biochemical structures called emotions.  Emotive devices along with the brain and body proper 
(also known as an interwoven organism) constantly respond to environmental stimulus.  They are 
designed in a way that is appropriate to the needs of the organism. Emotions drive and guide 
behavior. These innate mechanisms also are especially attuned for responding to social triggers 
3


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