International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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March 26-28, 2007

Personality Impressions Based on Facebook Profiles

Samuel D. Gosling, Sam Gaddis and Simine Vazire

Although still largely the province of teenagers and college students, Online Social-Networking Websites (OSNWs) like MySpace and Facebook are increasingly used by people in the 24- 54 year age range and many employers now use them to check out prospective employees. For many people, these websites have changed the dynamics of how individuals become acquainted. Indeed, viewing an individualís profile on MySpace or Facebook now features early in the process of getting to know others, often serving as the very first exposure. But how accurate are the impressions based on OSNW profiles? Our previous research on personal websites suggests OSNW profiles should provide more information about targets than most other sources, including actually meeting the person. Here we examine impressions based on 133 Facebook profiles, comparing them with how the targets see themselves and are seen by close acquaintances. As in our previous research, results show generally strong patterns of convergence, although the accuracy correlations vary considerably across traits. Findings are discussed with regard to the increasing role of technology-borne social information in everyday interpersonal interactions

Short Paper

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