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  Scales
 

Facebook Intensity (FBI)

The Facebook Intensity scale is used to measure Facebook usage beyond simple measures of frequency and duration, incorporating emotional connectedness to the site and its integration into individuals’ daily activities. You are free to use the Facebook intensity scale (FBI) as long as correct attribution is used.
Please cite:
Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook "friends:" Social capital and college students use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 1143-1168.

Scale Items
1. Facebook is part of my everyday activity
2. I am proud to tell people I'm on Facebook
3. Facebook has become part of my daily routine
4. I feel out of touch when I haven't logged onto Facebook for a while
5. I feel I am part of the Facebook community
6. I would be sorry if Facebook shut down
7. Approximately how many TOTAL Facebook friends do you have? *
8. In the past week, on average, approximately how much time PER DAY have you spent actively using Facebook?**

Response categories range from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree, unless otherwise noted.

*Can be asked as an open-ended (as in Ellison et al., 2007) or closed-ended (as in Steinfield et al., 2008) question.  If asked as an open-ended question, Total Facebook friends must transformed by taking the log before averaging across items to create the scale due to differing item scale ranges.  If asked as a closed-ended question, a ten point ordinal scale may be used (e.g. 10 or less, 11–50, 51–100, 101–150, 151–200, 201–250, 251–300, 301–400, more than 400). You may wish to adjust these response categories depending on your population, etc.
Note that earlier versions asked students to distinguish among in-network and total friends. This may or may not be appropriate based on population, site layout etc.

**Can be asked as an open-ended or closed-ended question.  If asked as an open-ended question, Facebook minutes should be measured by having participants fill in the amount of time they spend on Facebook.  Then the item should then be transformed by taking the log before averaging across items to create the scale due to differing item scale ranges.  If asked as a close-ended question an ordinal scale may be used (e.g. 1= 0-14min, 2=15-29 min, etc).  Again, response categories may differ based on population means.

Computing the Scale
The Facebook Intensity score is computed by calculating the mean of all of the items in the scale.


Actual Friends

More recent studies have sought to expand on this early work by testing out alternative measures of Facebook use. For example, Ellison et al. (in press) broke FBI out into its two primary components (total Facebook Friends and Minutes Per Day) and added in a new variable, "Actual Friends."

Please cite:
Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (in press). Connection strategies: Social capital implications of Facebook-enabled communication practices. New Media & Society.

The wording of this question is as follows: "Approximately how many of your TOTAL friends do you consider actual friends?" and was asked as an open-ended question immediate after the item asking about total Friends ("Approximately how many TOTAL Facebook friends do you have at MSU or elsewhere?"). For curvilinear analyses such as that in Ellison et al. (in press), the squared term of actual friends was calculated using SPSS.


Connection Strategies

Ellison et al. (in press) also identified three "connection strategies" scales. Please see the publication for more information about the logic behind these scales and their social capital implications. The scales are:

Initiating
1. I use Facebook to meet new people. **
2. MSU Stranger: Browse their profile on Facebook *
3. MSU Stranger: Contact them using Facebook, or by using information from Facebook *
4. MSU Stranger:Add them as a Facebook friend *
5. MSU Stranger: Meet them face-to-face *

Social Information-Seeking
1. I have used Facebook to check out someone I met socially. **
2. I use Facebook to learn more about other people in my classes. **
3. I use Facebook to learn more about other people living near me. **
4. Someone in Residence Hall: Browse their profile on Facebook. *

Maintaining
1. Close Friend: Browse *
2. Close Friend: Contact *
3. Close Friend:Add as Friend *
4. Close Friend: Meet face-to-face *

* scale ranges from 1 = not likely at all to 5 = very likely

** scale ranges from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree

These items were presented to our participants as follows:

Imagine an MSU student you've never met in real life or had a face-to-face conversation with. How likely are you to do the following?

- Browse their profile on Facebook (Very Unlikely; Somewhat Unlikely; Neither Likely nor Unlikely; Somewhat Likely; Very Likely)
- Contact them using Facebook, or by using information from Facebook (Very Unlikely; Somewhat Unlikely; Neither Likely nor Unlikely; Somewhat Likely; Very Likely)
- Add them as a Facebook friend (Very Unlikely; Somewhat Unlikely; Neither Likely nor Unlikely; Somewhat Likely; Very Likely)
- Meet them face-to-face (Very Unlikely; Somewhat Unlikely; Neither Likely nor Unlikely; Somewhat Likely; Very Likely)

The same response sets were presented to participants for the following items:

Imagine someone at MSU who lives in your residence hall who you would recognize but have never spoken to. How likely are you to do the following?

- Browse their profile on Facebook
- Contact them using Facebook, or by using information from Facebook
- Add them as a Facebook friend
- Meet them face-to-face

Think about one of your close friends. How likely are you to do the following?

- Browse their profile on Facebook
- Contact them using Facebook, or by using information from Facebook
- Add them as a Facebook friend
- Meet them face-to-face

We also asked a series of items that are included in the Connection Strategies scales. They are:

Please indicate the extent to which you agree with each of the following statements.

I use Facebook to meet new people. (Strongly Disagree; Disagree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree)

I have used Facebook to check out someone I met socially. (Strongly Disagree; Disagree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree)

I use Facebook to learn more about other people in my classes. (Strongly Disagree; Disagree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree)

I use Facebook to learn more about other people living near me. (Strongly Disagree; Disagree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree)

Please note that these items were not presented in a block but instead interspersed with other items not used in the scales (e.g., "I feel my Facebook profile gives others a positive impression of me."). Similarly, in the 2008 instrument we included scenarios that were not used in the scales (e.g., "Imagine a person you knew in high school but were not close friends with. How likely are you to do the following?").

Computing the Scales
The three Connection Strategy scales are computed by calculating the mean of all of the items in the scale.