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Personality on Social Network Sites: An Application of the Five Factor Model

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  • Stefan Wehrli

Abstract

In this paper we explore how individual personality characteristics influence online social networking behavior. We use data from an online survey with 1560 respondents from a major Swiss technical university and their corresponding online profiles and friendship networks on a popular Social Network Site (SNS). Apart from sociodemographic variables and questions about SNS usage, we collected survey data on personality traits with a short question inventory of the Five Factor Personality Model (BFI-15). We show how these psychological network antecedents influence participation, adoption time, nodal degree and ego-network growth over a period of 4 months on the networking platform. Statistical analysis with overdispersed degree distribution models identifies extraversion as a major driving force in the tie formation process. We find a counter-intuitive positive effect for neuroticism, a negative influence for conscientiousness and no effects for openness and agreeableness.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Wehrli, 2008. "Personality on Social Network Sites: An Application of the Five Factor Model," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 7, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology.
  • Handle: RePEc:ets:wpaper:7
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.ethz.ch/ets/papers/wehrli_studivz_big5.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cameron, A Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1986. "Econometric Models Based on Count Data: Comparisons and Applications of Some Estimators and Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 29-53, January.
    2. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2007. "Meeting Strangers and Friends of Friends: How Random Are Social Networks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 890-915, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Howley, P.; Boyce, C.;, 2017. "Not for everyone: Personality, mental health, and the use of online social networks," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/01, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Ayano Fujiwara, 2017. "Who Works at the Interface in Knowledge Spillover Across Organizational Boundaries?," The Review of Socionetwork Strategies, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 65-81, June.
    3. Barbara Caci & Maurizio Cardaci & Silvana Miceli, 2019. "Development and Maintenance of Self-Disclosure on Facebook: The Role of Personality Traits," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(2), pages 21582440198, June.
    4. Itani, Omar S. & El Haddad, Rania & Kalra, Ashish, 2020. "Exploring the role of extrovert-introvert customers’ personality prototype as a driver of customer engagement: Does relationship duration matter?," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    online social networks; personality; Big Five; degree distribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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