Facebook and Personality
Facebook and personality: Facebook is a relatively recent social phenomenon, so psychological research on the topic is just beginning. Naturally, psychologists aim at shedding light on different aspects of the use of the social networking platform, such as what personality traits typically correspond to Facebook use. Facebook is currently the most visited website in the world, right after Google.
An interesting study was published in the academic journal “Computers in Human Behavior”. This study aimed at elucidating personality traits of Facebook users and non-users. The researchers found that some of the Big Five personality traits seemed to influence Facebook use and non-use.
The Big Five is the personality trait scale most often used in psychology to operationalize personality. The scale consists of five dimensions, which are continuums of personality traits. Namely, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and extraversion.
Extraversion (vs. Introversion) describes highly sociable individuals, who enjoy socializing and tend to have more friends than people characterized as introverts. However, introverts and extraverts also differ in other aspects. For example, introverts and extraverts tend to exhibit different study patterns. Extraverts learn well by cramming, while introverts need more structure so they learn better when they study ahead of time.
But, to get back to the study highlighted in the present short entry, the authors came up with the following results:
- Among Facebook users, neurotic and lonely people tend to spend more time on Facebook per day than non-lonely individuals.
- While on Facebook, lonely people tend to engage in passive activities and therefore don’t build their social skills.
- Not all Facebook users turn to the social networking Website to increase their social capital.
- Facebook users tend to be more extraverted and narcissistic than non-users.
- Facebook users tend to be less conscientious and less socially lonely than non-users.
Clearly, more research is needed on the subject. The field of psychology relies on theoretical constructs, and theory about Facebook use has yet to be developed.
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