What your Facebook profile reveals about you

We primarily use Facebook to spy on others, but your profile can actually tell you a lot about yourself.

According to research, your Facebook activity can reveal a lot about your personality, including how confident and narcissistic you are.

People tend to post updates in line with one of the Big Five personality traits (extroversion, openness, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness), according to researchers from Brunel University.

They found that:

  • Neurotic people use Facebook to seek validation from others 
  • Narcissists update about their achievements, diet, and exercise, and seek attention and validation through a high number of ‘likes’
  • Open, curious and creative people mainly post about political and intellectual topics
  • Conscientious people don’t post very often, and when they do it's mainly about their children
  • Those with low self-esteem mainly post about their partners

Your photos can also be quite telling, too. A study from the University of Pennsylvania studied five different types of photos and personalities.

They found that:

  • People  posing with an object or in a funny pose in their profile picture are the most likely to be open to new experiences
  • Neurotic people tend to have profile pictures of an object or pet; something that doesn’t include their face. And those who do upload a photo of their face may have a weird expression resulting from the fact they would rather look miserable, but are aware of the social pressures to look happy
  • Conscientious people are most likely to have happy, perfectly framed images as their profile pictures
  • The most agreeable people are most likely to have profile pictures of themselves smiling and laughing with friends
  • Extroverts are most likely to have colourful profile pictures, and use methods to appear younger than they are
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