This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.

What happens when people take to Facebook when they are in a bad mood? Turns out people actually search for people who are having a worse time than them. Yes, as ugly as it sounds, we search for people who are worse off than what we are.

A study from VU University in Amsterdam took 168 students and told them that they either performed “terribly” or “excellently” on a test regardless of how they actually performed. This was in order to put the students in a good mood or a bad mood.

The students were then told to check out a social network which was in fact a mock up called SocialLink. Students were shown various profile pages on the social network which were set up to make the profile look either attractive or unattractive, successful or unsuccessful.

So what did they discover? Overall students spend more time on the more attractive and more successful profiles. However when this was compared to the students who were in a bad mood they discovered that more time was spent on the less attractive and less successful pages.

“If you need a self-esteem boost, you’re going to look at people worse off than you,” study co-author Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, a professor of communication at Ohio State University, said in the written statement.

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.