Who Needs Friends? Personality As a Predictor of Social Surrogate Use
Past research indicates that people can meet psychological needs for belonging through a wide array of social surrogates, including fictional characters, pets, and even food. Although previous work illustrates that such targets can provide belonging, little work has explored the everyday prevalence of social surrogacy or the extent to which personality is associated with how people fulfill social needs. We report the results of an intensive two-week study in which participants completed initial measures of personality and then reported on social surrogacy using an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) approach. Results indicated that social surrogacy is widely prevalent, but there is variability in the types of behaviors used. Modest support was found for the idea that traits relevant to fear of rejection (but not needs for affiliation) are associated with social surrogate use.
Personality and Individual Differences
Derrick, J. L.,
Keefer, L. A.,
Troisi, J. D.
(2019). Who Needs Friends? Personality As a Predictor of Social Surrogate Use. Personality and Individual Differences, 349-354.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/15974