One kind of Facebook post could mean you're a narcissist

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Tuesday 16 August 2016 12:00
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Picture: DeanDrobot/iStock

If you're posting selfies from the gym or using hashtags about fitness, sciences thinks you are a narcissist (and so do your Facebook friends).

HT: Business Insider

Psychologists at Brunei University in London have found a scientific link between posting selfies of your exercise routing or dieting, and being a narcissist.

Why exercise? The choice of subject/setting for your photos shows that you care about your body. In fact it doesn't just show you care, it's a way of boasting that you care. The research found that narcissists posted about their achievements on Facebook more often than other users, in a search for validation from their Facebook friends and followers.

Dr Tara Marshall, who conducted the research, said that the study also found that although fellow users will 'like' a post, this may be down to politeness.

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 finding came from a study of 555 Facebook users which looked at the 'Big Five' personality characteristics (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). The same study also found that your personality type will determine the sort of thing you put on Facebook.

Users who were more open to new experiences were more likely to post intellectual topics. This was consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information. Participants in the study who had low self-esteem were more likely to update about romantic partners, in order to refute others’ impressions that their relationship is poor.

Participants who were high in conscientiousness were more likely to post about their children. This is because conscientious participants were more organised and used Facebook less than other users because of their busy lives. These participants tended to have more friends but rarely disclosed personal information, or bad mouthed others on Facebook. As such they stuck to posting about 'safe' topics such as children, or the Olympics.

If this sounds like all the annoying people you know on Facebook, you can now be satisfied in knowing it's their personality which they can't help it, they're not trying to wind you up.

More: It's official: men are more narcissistic than women

More: One sign that you are a narcissist

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