New research from Australia suggests that Facebook users are more extroverted and narcissistic than people who use the Internet but who don’t use Facebook. An article by Tom Jacobs in Miller-McCune magazine highlights some conclusions drawn by researchers about the type of personalities who are active on Facebook.
Who uses Facebook? The simple answer is a whole lot of people: The online social network has more than 600 million members.
But what sets them apart from those who use the Internet but have chosen not to play in Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual playground? New research from Australia provides some less than flattering answers.
“Facebook users tend to be more extroverted and narcissistic, but less conscientious and socially lonely, than non-users,” Tracii Ryan and Sophia Xenos of RMIT University in Melbourne write in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.
Instead of falling in love with his own image in a pond, today’s narcissist apparently gazes adoringly at his own Facebook profile.
Seeing a gap in the literature (most previous surveys of Facebook users have been limited to university students), Ryan and Xenos decided to survey a wider range of Internet users in Australia (where, they report, nearly half the population consists of active Facebook users). Their sample consisted of 1,324 participants, all between the ages of 18 and 44. All but 166 of them were Facebook users.
The participants completed a 124-question online survey, which measured such things as their “big five” personality traits (extr0version, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience), narcissistic tendencies, shyness, loneliness, and the specifics of their Facebook usage…