Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. John Paul Minda


Social media is an inescapable platform for sharing media and connecting with others. This thesis investigated how social media impacts cognition; specifically, attention. Study 1 investigated typical social media usage patterns and helped gauge which SM platform was most popular. Study 1 revealed three main platforms people used most often: Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Facebook was reported as the most popular social media platform. Study 2 investigated how a social media post impacts cognition. It was hypothesized that participants who posted, with the intention of provoking a reaction from their followers, on their social media prior to performing a cognitive task would be distracted and have lower performance than a control group. However, there was no significant difference between the conditions. Therefore, the main hypothesis was not supported. An external factor that undermined the experiment (i.e. age) was discussed. Social media’s impact on cognition remains unclear and requires future research.