Facebook Narcissism

Facebook profiles can tell you more than just peoples’ birthdays and what movies they like – they can reveal the self-adoring, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the University of Georgia gave personality questionnaires to nearly 130 Facebook users and analyzed the content of their online profiles. They also had untrained observers look at the profiles and rate how narcissistic, or excessively egotistical, the owners of the profiles were.

The results of the study are detailed in the October issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

The researchers found that the number of friends and wall posts (messages left by the owner of the profile or friends) that a person had on their profile correlated with how narcissistic they were. Study leader Laura Buffardi, a Ph.D. student in psychology, said this is similar to how narcissists behave in the real world, forming numerous but shallow relationships with others.

Narcissistic Facebook users were also more likely to have glamorous, self-promoting pictures for their main profile photo, while others tended to use snapshots, the study found. The untrained observers also noted the differences in photos and amount of social interaction.

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