What Elements of an Online Social Networking Profile Predict Target-Rater Agreement in Personality Impressions?

David C. Evans, Samuel D. Gosling, Anthony Carroll

Social-Networking Websites (SNWs) like Facebook and MySpace are playing an increasingly prevalent role in everyday social interactions. But very little is known about the effectiveness of the various profile elements in conveying information about the personality of the profile owner. Here we examine 5,303 impressions made on the basis of a specially designed social networking website (http://www.YouJustGetMe.com) and on the basis of Facebook profiles. Our findings suggest that profile owners are generally seen by others as they see themselves; that when raters are judging unknown targets, rater-target agreement is stronger for female (vs. male) targets and for female (vs. male) raters; and several specific elements of profiles are associated with increased or diminished levels of rater-target impression agreement. The findings are important because they are the first to show how impression agreement may be affected by specific elements in SNW profiles.

Subjects: 6.3 User Interfaces; 6. Computer-Human Interaction

Submitted: Feb 15, 2008

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