On Facebook, Photos Make More Of An Impression Than Text
Mar 08, 2012 12:01
This might sound a little superficial, but people aren't really paying attention to the words on your Facebook profile because they rather judge you based on your picture. At least that's what a new study published in the Journal of Communication is claiming.
According to ScienceDaily, the researchers made two profiles — one with a group photo and text reading "I'm happiest hanging out with a big group of friends," and another with a solo photo of a person on a park bench and the text, "I'm happiest curled up in my room with a good book" (ew, reading).
Participants were asked to rate how extraverted they thought the student in the profile was, on a scale of 1 (least extraverted) to 7 (most extraverted) based on the photo and text.
The participants viewed one of four profiles: in one, both the photo (a person shown socializing with friends) and the text ("I'm happiest hanging out with a big group of friends") suggested an extrovert.
A second profile had both a photo (a person alone on a park bench) and text ("I'm happiest curled up in my room with a good book") that suggested an introvert.
The other two profiles were mixed, with the photo suggesting an extravert and the text an introvert, and vice versa.
When the extraverted photo was shown, it barely mattered whether the text suggested the person was an introvert or extrovert -- most participants rated the person as an extravert.
"It didn't matter what the profile text said -- what mattered was the photograph," Van Der Heide said.
But if the photograph suggested an introvert, people really did pay attention to the text. If the text also suggested an introvert, participants rated the person as such. But if the text suggested the person was an extravert, participants rated them as slightly less introverted.
The researchers conclude that people judge their peers on social-networking sites mostly based on photos alone, unless if something seems a little off:
"People will accept a positive photo of you as showing how you really are. But if the photo is odd or negative in any way, people want to find out more before forming an impression."