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The effect of social media use on empathy and welling: a personality perspective in Saudi Arabia

Mousa Albashrawi (Information Systems and Operations Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Yousef Asiri (Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia)
Muhammad Binsawad (King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Latifah Alqahtani (Latifah Alqahtani is based at Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 11 September 2021

Issue publication date: 23 March 2022




The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of social media use on both empathy and well-being through using a five-factor model (FFM) of personality in the context of Saudi Arabia.


Data were collected from the 13 regions in Saudi Arabia. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to measure the reliability and validity of the study’s constructs and a structural equation modeling technique was applied to test the study hypotheses.


With a sample of 450 users, the regression results indicate a less significant relationship between personality and social media use, as well as between personality and affective empathy, while a more significant relationship between personality and cognitive empathy. Also, individuals’ well-being are influenced directly by the heavy use of social media.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design used in this research may not be able to provide the true essence of the hypothesized relationships compared to the cause-effect design. This study furthers the understanding of the role of personality on empathy and well-being in social media among Saudis from one side and provides insights to professionals for better improvement of social media and so better individuals’ well-being from the other side.


This paper fills an untapped gap in a developing country context by exploring the relationship between the usage of social media and the two dimensions of empathy, which, in turn, influence well-being under the theoretical lens of an FFM personality.



Albashrawi, M., Asiri, Y., Binsawad, M. and Alqahtani, L. (2022), "The effect of social media use on empathy and welling: a personality perspective in Saudi Arabia", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 406-423.



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