Can the Internet offer a mirror into your personality? Apparently, the answer is yes, according to recently published research.
The researchers conducted the experiment on 37 undergraduate students who were interviewed and rated on how likable they were. Their Facebook pages were also independently rated on how likable they were.
The key finding was that participants rated as more likable in the flesh also tended to be rated as more likable based on their Facebook page. Moreover, an analysis of the cues used to make these judgments also showed parallels between the two mediums.
Video-recordings of the face-to-face contacts suggested it was participants who were more non-verbally expressive (through facial expression and tone of voice) who tended to be rated as more likable.
Similarly, participants with more expressive Facebook pages — for example having more photos available to view — tended to be judged as more likable. Finally, participants who were expressive in the flesh also tended to be expressive on their Facebook page.
This is a small experiment, done only on college students, so the results should be taken with a grain of salt. But it’s not too surprising to find that people who shared more information (such as photos) on their Facebook pages are going to be judged more likable than those who shared very little.
A larger study would have to be conducted to see whether it’s simply the amount or type of information (e.g., more expressive information) displayed on a Facebook page that alone may account for increased likelihood of being liked, rather than a person’s likableness in real life alone. (Did I use the word “like” enough?)
Read the full entry: People judged as likable in the flesh also make good first impressions online
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 May 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2009). Your Facebook Page is a Mirror Reflection of How Well Liked You Are. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/05/12/your-facebook-page-is-a-mirror-reflection-of-how-well-liked/