Facebook revelations

Humans have never been found wanting for ways to analyse each other’s personality. Whether it be through the time of their birth, their favourite colour, or the remains in their tea cup we have interpreted signs and signals as revelations of what is going on inside other people. It is no surprise of course that, given their popularity, social media are now being used to analyse others and with good reason. A new study has found that the kinds of posts you make on Facebook reveals your personality traits.

The new study used data gathered from more than 550 Facebook users who completed online surveys aimed at measuring the five major personality traits; extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and narcissism. The results of these surveys were then matched against the sorts of posts that people make.

The results were revealing.

It emerged that people with low self-esteem tended to make more frequent posts about their current romantic partner. People who frequently update about their achievements tended to score high for narcissism as they are motivated by the need for attention and approval from their Facebook community. The analysis also revealed that these “achievement” posts elicited a lot more “likes” than other posts meaning they achieved the attention they crave.

Narcissists also wrote more updates about their diet and exercise routine which suggests that they use Facebook to broadcast the effort they put into their physical appearance.

Conscientiousness was also associated with a particular type of post: updates about your children.

The other interesting finding was that people who experience more “likes” feel “social inclusion” while a lack of “likes” can lead to feelings of ostracism.

The researchers though do make the point that while bragging appears to pay off with more likes, it might be that friends politely offer support while privately disliking such egotistical displays. That is the inherent peril of the fabricated Facebook world.

Still, it seems that reading between the lines of Facebook posts might tell you more than focusing on the words used.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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