Jennifer Gerson, Anke C. Plagnol and Philip J. Corr. "Passive and Active Facebook Use Measure (PAUM): Validation and relationship to the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory". Personality and Individual Differences. 117, pp. 81-90 (2017). (journal)(download)


The aims of this study were to design and validate a questionnaire to measure passive and active Facebook use, and to explore the associations of these factors with the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST) of personality. Passive Facebook use describes the consumption but not the creation of content, while active Facebook use describes active engagement with the site. As Facebook has many features, users may interact with the site differently, thereby creating conflicting results when general use measures are assessed independently. To address this issue, we developed a 13-item questionnaire which reflects three levels of Facebook engagement: Active social, Active non-social, and Passive use. These three multi-item scales demonstrate sufficient internal reliability and discriminant validity. To further investigate individual differences in Facebook use, we used regressions to assess the associations between RST and the factors of the Passive Active Use Measure (PAUM). Reward Reactivity was positively associated with both Active social and Passive use. Impulsivity and Goal-Drive Persistence were positively associated with Active non-social use. FFFS was positively associated with Passive use, and Reward Interest was positively associated with all three PAUM factors. The findings of this study highlight how individual differences impact the way users engage with Facebook.




  • Development and validation of a measure for passive Facebook use

  • The PAUM contains three factors: active social, active non-social and passive use

  • The factors of the PAUM have good internal reliability and discriminant validity

  • The factors of the PAUM are associated with RST personality traits