Personality and Facebook Likes

By | 22/03/2017

The Institute of Public Relations has published a study as part of its signature research series that sheds some light on the connection between personality and liking behaviour on Facebook.

The there key findings of the study (conducted with 421 US Facebook users) are:

  • Interpersonal generosity, a personality trait that focuses on the tendency of expending oneself in relationships was positively associated with giving “likes.”
  • Public self-consciousness, a trait that reflects one’s awareness of the self as viewed by others was also positively associated with giving “likes.”
  • In terms of demographics, age was found to be positively associated with both giving and receiving “likes,” whereas education was negatively associated with giving “likes.” In addition, women tend to receive “likes” more frequently than men.

These findings imply that some aspects of offline gift giving culture and generosity (with plenty of research available) become possible to transfer to the online context. These results are interesting for digital communicators that seek to better understand the social psychology of social media users in order to engage with such audiences more effectively. With this deeper understanding of the target groups it becomes possible to crate more shareable content that caters to people that show higher interpersonal generosity and public self-consciousness. The authors also state that it implies creating “content to be shared by women with older age as they are expected to receive more “likes,” according to the findings”.

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