Relation of Online and Offline Civic Engagement: Investigation of Narcissism as a Moderator

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Introduction: With the increased use of Facebook, emerging adults have found new ways to be engaged. In addition to sharing information, locating, and tracking friends, Facebook also can be used to advertise opportunities for volunteering, advocate political point of views, as well as provide an avenue for self-promotion, particularly by individuals with narcissistic tendencies. In the present investigation, two hypotheses are proposed: 1). Online volunteer and politically related Facebook behaviors will be correlated to offline volunteer and political engagement. 2). NPI (Narcissistic Personality Inventory) scores will act as a moderator variable for offline and online volunteerism and political participation.
Methods: University students (n=109, 88 female, 22 male) enrolled in introductory psychology courses were administered a series of online surveys, regarding their volunteer activities, political participation, Facebook activities, and narcissism. Results: Frequency of political participation had a significant positive correlation to politically related Facebook actions (r (86)= .567, p<. 01). Frequency of volunteering had a significant correlation to volunteering-related Facebook actions (r (86)=. 312, p<. 01). Narcissism was not significant as a moderator for neither political participation (b=-.062, t (86)= -.599, p= .982) nor for volunteering (b=. 008, t (86)=. 079, p=. 937). Conclusion: Offline civic engagement appears to be moderately reflected in one’s Facebook actions. Although the NPI was not found to be a moderator, there are numerous limitations that may explain the inconsistent findings. Future studies should find a more accurate way of determining possible discrepancies between Facebook self-presentation and offline self-presentation.



Narcissism, Civic engagement, Political involvement, Facebook, Volunteerism, Online