The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates

Tara C. Marshall*, Katharina Lefringhausen, Nelli Ferenczi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Status updates are one of the most popular features of Facebook, but few studies have examined the traits and motives that influence the topics that people choose to update about. In this study, 555 Facebook users completed measures of the Big Five, self-esteem, narcissism, motives for using Facebook, and frequency of updating about a range of topics. Results revealed that extraverts more frequently updated about their social activities and everyday life, which was motivated by their use of Facebook to communicate and connect with others. People high in openness were more likely to update about intellectual topics, consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information. Participants who were low in self-esteem were more likely to update about romantic partners, whereas those who were high in conscientiousness were more likely to update about their children. Narcissists' use of Facebook for attention-seeking and validation explained their greater likelihood of updating about their accomplishments and their diet and exercise routine. Furthermore, narcissists' tendency to update about their accomplishments explained the greater number of likes and comments that they reported receiving to their updates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Keywords

  • Big five
  • Facebook
  • Narcissism
  • Self-esteem
  • Social media
  • Social networking
  • Status updates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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