Complete the Case Summary Worksheet media. Use the information from the completed media to help guide you in completing the assignment. You can transfer your output to the assignment template.

Once you’ve completed the interactive media piece, use the template to write your paper and submit it in the Week 3 Assignment 1 area. In your paper, complete the following:

Summarize the case study.
Describe credible and scholarly sources relevant to a particular theory.
Apply a social psychological theory to a chosen case study.
Explain how social psychological research studies relate to a particular social psychological theory.
Apply an ethical reasoning concept to a chosen case study.
Apply a critical thinking concept to a chosen case study.
Address the appropriate audience and use discipline-specific language.

Sample Answer

Sample Answer


The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health: A Case Study


In the age of technological advancements, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. However, its impact on mental health has been a topic of concern and debate. This case study explores the relationship between social media usage and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. By examining credible and scholarly sources, applying social psychological theories, and analyzing research studies, we aim to gain a better understanding of this complex phenomenon.

Case Study Summary

The case study focuses on Sarah, a 25-year-old woman who spends an average of 4 hours per day on social media platforms. Sarah has been experiencing symptoms of depression, including feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, and social isolation. She attributes these negative emotions to her constant exposure to curated and idealized versions of others’ lives on social media. Sarah finds herself comparing her own life to the seemingly perfect lives portrayed online, leading to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction.

Credible and Scholarly Sources

To explore the impact of social media on mental health, it is important to consult credible and scholarly sources. These sources provide evidence-based research, ensuring the validity and reliability of the information. Some relevant sources include:

American Psychological Association (APA): This reputable organization publishes journals and articles that examine various aspects of mental health and psychology. Their research often includes studies related to social media’s impact on mental well-being.

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: This peer-reviewed journal focuses on the intersection between social psychology and clinical psychology. It frequently publishes articles exploring the effects of social media on mental health outcomes.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): As a leading government organization in mental health research, the NIMH conducts studies and provides valuable insights into the relationship between social media use and psychological well-being.

Application of Social Psychological Theory

One relevant social psychological theory that can be applied to Sarah’s case study is the Social Comparison Theory. This theory suggests that individuals tend to evaluate their own abilities, opinions, and qualities by comparing themselves to others. In the context of social media, individuals like Sarah may engage in upward social comparisons, where they compare themselves to others they perceive as more successful or happier. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and negatively impact self-esteem and mental health.

Relationship between Research Studies and Social Psychological Theory

Several research studies have examined the connection between social media usage and mental health outcomes, providing support for the Social Comparison Theory. For example, Kross et al. (2013) found that increased Facebook usage was associated with declines in subjective well-being and life satisfaction. This finding aligns with the idea that constant exposure to others’ seemingly perfect lives on social media can lead to negative self-evaluations and dissatisfaction.

Additionally, Verduyn et al. (2015) conducted a study showing that passive Facebook usage (scrolling without actively engaging) resulted in decreased mood and overall well-being. This study supports the notion that constant exposure to others’ highlight reels can lead to detrimental effects on mental health.

Application of Ethical Reasoning Concept

When discussing the impact of social media on mental health, it is crucial to consider ethical implications. One ethical reasoning concept relevant to this case study is privacy and consent. Social media platforms often collect vast amounts of personal data from users without explicit consent or knowledge. This raises concerns about privacy violations and potential misuse of personal information for targeted advertising or psychological manipulation.

Application of Critical Thinking Concept

Critical thinking plays a pivotal role in analyzing the impact of social media on mental health. One critical thinking concept applicable to this case study is evaluating sources of information. With the abundance of information available online, it is essential to critically evaluate sources for bias, credibility, and relevance. By applying critical thinking skills, individuals like Sarah can discern reliable information from misinformation or sensationalized claims.


The case study highlights the potential negative impact of social media usage on mental health, as experienced by Sarah. Through the application of social psychological theories, analysis of research studies, consideration of ethical reasoning concepts, and utilization of critical thinking skills, we gain valuable insights into this complex phenomenon. It is crucial for individuals to be aware of the potential consequences of excessive social media use and strive for a healthy balance between online engagement and overall well-being.


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