Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Artemio Ramirez Jr., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott S. Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Toru Shimizu, Ph.D.


self-enhancement biases, stability, self-esteem stability, WeChat


The purpose of the present study was to analyze whether self-esteem stability moderated the association between self-esteem level and the forms of self-enhancement strategies. Previous research has found that self-esteem level can predict the forms of self-enhancement, whereas the advances in the conceptualization of self-esteem recommend that the self-esteem stability is another essential variable in terms of analyzing the relationship between self-esteem and self-enhancement. Depending on the relevant researches on use and gratification theory, which indicate that people use social media for self-enhancement and fulfilling their inner needs. This research focused on examining the forms of individual’s self-enhance on WeChat Circle of Friends (COF) and how it influenced by the interaction between self-esteem level and self-esteem stability by analyzing 305 participants in China. The results of the study show that both self-esteem level and stability was positively correlated with direct self-enhancement, but negatively correlated with indirect self-enhancement. Furthermore, the findings also show that self-esteem stability moderated the association between self-esteem level and direct self-enhancement such that individuals with stable high self-esteem reported higher levels of frequency in direct self-enhancement. However, the findings also revealed the self-esteem stability failed to moderate the association between self-esteem level and indirect self-enhancement presentation. These results suggest that self-esteem level and self-esteem stability will interact to impact the forms of self-enhancement. The importance of considering both stability and level of self-esteem in analyses of self-enhancement presentation on social media is discussed.