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Facebook Personality

December 22, 2009

Our social networking profiles are surprisingly accurate reflections of our true personalities.


Saving face on Facebook…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Hundreds of millions of people keep in touch through social networking sites like Facebook. But do our online personas reflect who we really are, or do we re-invent ourselves? University of Texas, Austin social psychologist Sam Gosling and his colleagues had volunteers take personality tests and also had their friends describe their personalities.

SAM GOSLING (University if Texas, Austin):
And then we took their facebook profiles and we got other people to form impressions on the basis of the facebook profiles alone. These perceptions corresponded pretty strongly with what the targets were really like, especially for some traits. I was surprised by the degree of accuracy found in their perceptions.

He says it may be hard to fool anyone on Facebook, because there’s a high degree of accountability between social contacts who interact regularly online. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.