Neuron Culture

Facebook profiles capture true personality, according to new psychology research

Online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity, according to new research from psychologist Sam Gosling at The University of Texas at Austin.

“I was surprised by the findings because the widely held assumption is that people are using their profiles to promote an enhanced impression of themselves,” says Gosling of the more than 700 million people worldwide who have online profiles. “In fact, our findings suggest that online social networking profiles convey rather accurate images of the profile owners, either because people aren’t trying to look good or because they are trying and failing to pull it off.

“These findings suggest that online social networks are not so much about providing positive spin for the profile owners,” he adds, “but are instead just another medium for engaging in genuine social interactions, much like the telephone.”

Strange. They suggest that ‘genuine social interactions’ presumably convey ‘true personality’ rather than spun persona. How do you square this with Goffman’s “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” which asserts we’re always spinning a public persona.

Maybe when I get the paper instead of the press release ….

Posted via web from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker

Comments

  1. #1 becca
    December 11, 2009

    So this just demonstrates most people are too lazy to spin different personalities for meatspace and facebook?

  2. #2 Leni
    December 13, 2009

    I don’t know about too lazy. Most of my friends on Facebook are people that I’ve known for most of my life. They would not be fooled if I made myself appear to be something I am not. There’s just no point in trying to trick anyone.

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