How much Social Networks reveal about our Personality
How much does the use of Social Networks reveal about our personality? Dogma S.p.A., through its Investigative Psychology Division, enriches its services with the performance of personal profiling. The activity concerned is based on empirical research, which analyses the use of the Internet and the expression of our own individuality in the field of Business Profiling.
The advent of Social Networks has given people an additional tool for sharing ideas, thoughts, concepts, images and opinions with others. This has led to the existence of a new possibility, even if constrained by the electronic instrument, of expressing one's own personal way of giving sense to both external and internal (cognitive and/or emotional) events.
As a result, new studies have been conducted with the aim of analyzing, on the one hand, the possible pathological use of social networks (Facebook and Instagram in particular), on the other, how much of our personality and of our approach to the world emerges from our personal way of using these communication tools.
For example, one of the most recent research published in 2018 (P. Reed, NI Bircek, LA Osborne, C. Viganò. R. Truzoli in The Open Psycholog Journal vol. 11) shows that there is a close correlation between a problematic use of internet (with particular regard to selfies) and the presence of narcissistic personality traits.
Facebook and the Big Five
In previous years, studies were carried out to verify the role of personality traits both in normal and pathological use of Facebook (to name a few: C. Ross, E. Orr, M. Sisic, JM, Arsenault, MG Simmering, 2009; MA Jenkins-Guarniri, SL Wright, LMHudiburgh, 2012; JL Skues, B. Williams, L. Wise, 2012; FY Hong, DH Huang; HY Lin, SL Chiu, 2014). This research mainly studies this connection using the Big Five Model as a personality construct (not pathological). This model divides the personality into five factors:
- Neuroticism, which reflects an individual's ability to control his or her emotions and impulses (high levels are associated for example with greater sensitivity to threats);
- Extraversion, which reflects the person's tendency to socialize and feel positive emotions;
- Mental Openness, or the degree of openness that an individual has in relation to considering alternatives, being intellectually curious and appreciating artistic aspects of life;
- Agreeableness, reflects the person’s tendency to honesty, understanding, empathy and cooperation;
- Conscientiousness, reflects the degree of organization, empathy and cooperation of an individual.
So far, research has shown that those who are more inclined to socialization tend to live Facebook as a social tool, but not as an alternative to real interactions. Those who have instead a greater tendency to control the type and the way of sharing information (high levels in the neurotic scale), prefer the use of written posts to the disclosure of personal images (which are a vehicle of information which is emotionally difficult to control).
It also emerged that those who perceive themselves as having less social skills, they prefer the screen that Facebook provides to start establishing relationships.
Psychophysical profile via Social Network in Business Profiling
Attention to these issues implies that, to date, the use of social networks has become pervasive in our private life, but it is undeniable that it plays a very important role in our professional dimension.
It is possible to presume that the abovementioned findings can also be applicable to those who hold important positions in companies, or in the public and/or political sphere. Certainly, it is necessary to take the necessary precautions in using these results when analyzing profiles of people who, given the public role exercised, certainly tend to modify their action on the basis of the desired effect and the underlying purpose. However, even in this "masking" action, there may still be extremely personal signals that can hint aspects of one's specific perception and organization of the world.
Therefore, the use that people make of social networks (even the deletion of information from such communication tools) can provide some data on the organizational scheme of thinking, relating with others and behaving.
The Business Profiling activity, proposed by Dogma to its customers, gives therefore an added value to our services, by collecting extra information and helping the investigation itself.
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