Face to (Face)Book: The Two Faces of Social Behavior?
Article first published online: 20 FEB 2013
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 81, Issue 3, pages 290–301, June 2013
How to Cite
Ivcevic, Z. and Ambady, N. (2013), Face to (Face)Book: The Two Faces of Social Behavior?. Journal of Personality, 81: 290–301. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2012.00804.x
- Issue published online: 14 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 20 FEB 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 JUL 2012 01:55AM EST
- social networking;
- temporal consistency;
- interpersonal traits
Social networking sites such as Facebook represent a unique and dynamic social environment.
This study addresses three theoretical issues in personality psychology in the context of online social networking sites: (a) the temporal consistency of Facebook activity, (b) people's awareness of their online behavior, and (c) comparison of social behavior on Facebook with self- and informant-reported behavior in real life.
Facebook Wall pages of 99 college students (mean age = 19.72) were downloaded six times during 3 weeks and coded for quantity and quality of activity. Everyday social interactions were assessed by self- and friend report.
Facebook activity showed significant consistency across time, and people demonstrated awareness of their online behavior. There was significant similarity between everyday traits and interactions and Facebook behavior (e.g., more posts by friends are related to Agreeableness). Some differences between online and everyday interactions warrant further research (e.g., individuals with more positive offline relationships are less likely to engage in back-and-forth conversations on Facebook).
The results indicate substantial similarity between online and offline social behavior and identify avenues for future research on the possible use of Facebook to compensate for difficulty in everyday interactions.