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Research Says Facebook Status Updates Can Reveal Narcissism and Low Self-Esteem

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A research conducted by psychologists at Brunel University London found that Facebook status updates can reveal signs of narcissism and low self-esteem. According to the study, users who constantly post about their partners are more likely to have low self-esteem, while those who brag about diets, accomplishments, and exercise are typically narcissists.

The researchers surveyed Facebook users to examine their personality traits, as well as their motives for posting their status updates. Data was collected from 555 Facebook users who filled up online surveys measuring the ‘Big Five’ personality traits: extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Self-esteem and narcissism were also measured in the surveys.

A recent research says that Facebook status updates can indicate signs of narcissism and low self-esteem.

The results show that people with low self-esteem often post status updates about their romantic partner. Narcissists, on the other hand, like to post about their achievements, so they can get the attention they crave. They also like to post about diet and exercise as a way to broadcast the efforts they put into improving their physical appearance. Finally, conscientiousness was associated with posting updates about one’s children.

Those with low self-esteem tend to post often about their romantic partner.

Psychology lecturer Dr. Tara Marshall, from Brunel University London, said:

“It might come as little surprise that Facebook status updates reflect people’s personality traits. However, it is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook because their updates may be differentially rewarded with ‘likes’ and comments. People who receive more likes and comments tend to experience the benefits of social inclusion, whereas those who receive none feel ostracized.

Narcissists like to post about their achievements and look at ‘likes’ and positive comments as validation of their efforts.

She continued:

“Although our results suggest that narcissists’ bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays. Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”

The results are not surprising, but now, there’s a study to back them up.

Source: Linda Flores

According to the research team, more studies should be done to explore the responses to these status updates, the likability of the users who post them, and whether or not particular topics increase the chances of someone getting unfriended.

Source: Science Daily

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