Create Contests and Promotions on Facebook now! Try it for Free!

Psychology of Facebook: how does it work?

Por Euge Skaf | Content creator

Psychology of Facebook

Have you ever asked yourself why whenever you go to Facebook looking for something precise, you end up scouring publications and looking at photos for various minutes and even for hours? And this happens to all of us: every time we log onto this Social Network we are hypnotized by its content for long periods of time, like by magic or something!

But of course, it’s not magic, but science! Precisely why in this blog post I am going to tell you what the different investigations are saying about the psychology on Facebook and why we behave the way we do when we are on this site. Here you will learn what makes us give a Like to certain posts, why we are Fans of certain brands or avoid doing it, what pushes us to share content and what happens when we log onto the Social Network without interacting with anybody. Don’t forget to recommend this post to your friends.

Psychology of Facebook: what is behind each action?

Freud Psychology of Facebook

Every time you log onto Facebook the rules of a game start to take effect. Here a series of actions exists that you can carry out and behind each one of them a reason for why you do them is hidden. Things such as giving a Like, Commenting on a publication, Publishing a status or Sharing content are all linked to distinct emotions and social phenomena. Continue reading because below we will explain each of them.

What does Giving a Like mean?

Facebook is a Social Network which operates for people, permitting them to perform certain interactions with different social significance. One of these is giving a Like, whose purpose it, in the words of Facebook’s team, “Giving a positive return” and permitting you to “Connect with things that interest you”. Additionally, it is one of the simplest actions that you can do on the site.

From the point of view on the psychology on Facebook, the goal of giving a Like is unlimited: it serves to demonstrate identification with certain content, messages or attitudes, transmit empathy between contacts, and at the same time it’s a very practical act, since it only requires a click. This is what a study from Psychology Today revealed in which it explains that giving a Like is a form of generating virtual empathy.


This investigation demonstrated that virtual empathy can have implications in the offline world. Additionally, it indicated that the people who spend more time on Facebook chat or scouring the Social Network are more susceptible to showing virtual empathy. At the same time, the quality operates as an indicator of the capacity to express empathy in the real world or offline.

Also, due to its economics (just a click), giving a Like is the most common action on Facebook. Its simplicity and communicative power (demonstrating interest, identification or support) has made it the most used sign of acceptance on the Social Network.


Why do people give a Like to a brand?

It’s one thing to give a Like to your friend’s and family’s publications. But other reasons also exist to why users decide to give a Like to a brand. According to an investigation from, these are the main causes why people decide to give a Like to a commercial Fan Page:

  • To support the brand that I like: 49%
  • To get a discount coupon42%
  • To receive frequent updates from the brand that I like: 41%
  • To participate in contests35%
  • To share my positive experiences31%
  • To share interests and life styles with others: 27%
  • To investigate brands through looking for specific product or services: 21%
  • For having seen that my friends already were Fans of the brand: 20%
  • For having seen an advertisement on TV, magazines or computer: 18%
  • For having received the recommendation from someone to become a fan: 15%

Now that you know the main motivations that make users give a Like to a brand, you can take advantage of them to attract your public to your Fan Page. But it is equally useful knowing what it is that impedes people from becoming a Fan of certain brands on Facebook, like we will see later.


Why people DON’T give a Like to a Fan Page?

According to a report from the site, these are the most common reasons why a person decides NOT TO GIVE A LIKE to a Fan Page:

  • I don’t want to be bombarded by publicity messages: 54%
  • I don’t want companies to have access to my personal information45%
  • I don’t want my friends to receive publicity information in their Newsfeed31%
  • I don’t want companies to contact me through Facebook: 29%
  • I don’t find it beneficial to give a Like to a brand: 23%
  • I don’t want to impose my interests on my friends: 19%
  • Indifferent/ I have not found a company that is worth following: 8%
  • I don’t understand the importance of Giving a Like to a company: 4%


Keep this information in mind when managing your Fan Page so you can ensure to not engage in behaviors that “repel” the audience. For example, you should avoid publishing solely promotional messages or requesting too much information when you organize  on Facebook sweepstakes. For better advice you can read this article on how to sell on Facebook and this other one to learn to retain your clients on Facebook.

What are behind the comments on Facebook?

On Facebook, we as people comment when we have something to say. And this is the main difference between simply giving a Like. Additionally, commenting or receiving comments is experience with a much higher social intensity than in the case of Likes. It is demonstrated in a study by Moira Burke aforementioned in, in which more than 1200 Social Network users were evaluated.


The investigation demonstrated that personal messages from comments were much more satisfactory for the receivers than the one click communication that a Like involves. During the study the people who only received Likes did not experience a change in the feeling of loneliness in comparison to those who received comments, who yes felt more accompanied. This established that the quality of semi-public communication that a comment posses on Facebook diminishes the feeling of isolation perceived by some people.

Why do we post on Facebook?

The answer is: posting on Facebook makes us feel more connected. An investigation from the University of Arizona demonstrated this through a controlled group of students in order to measure the level of loneliness while publishing statuses on the site.

According to the study, the people who post statuses on Facebook with a high frequency exhibit much lower levels of loneliness than users who do it very little to never. This remained the same when publications did not receive a Like or Comments, reasons for which investigators linked publishing statuses with an increase in the sense of social connection.


What happens when we navigate Facebook without interacting with anybody?

And for last, you may ask yourself what happens when we decide to wander Facebook without interacting with anybody or giving a Like to any content. And according to some investigations, the “maraud” for the Social Network without being seen or perceived by anybody increases the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

This was established by a study carried out by the University of Carnegie Mellon in Pennsylvania. This study demonstrated that the feeling of having a social capital increases every time we interact with someone (through posts, Likes or comments) and drastically decreases when wander the site incognito.


The investigator Moira Burke also states that navigating Facebook without interacting with anybody is related to an increase in depression. For this reason, if you don’t want to be sad I advise you to keep Facebook chat open while logged on and don’t save your comments for when you see your friends’ pictures.


As you may have noticed, behind all of our actions on Facebook psychological reasons are hidden for why we do them. I hope that this article has helped you to understand what they are, so you can consider them when publishing on your Fan Page and interacting with your followers.


Did you like this post? Which information mentioned here did you find the most interesting? Tell us your opinion! And please, don’t forget to share this article with your friends. :)