AAAI Publications, Third International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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Is Your Profile Picture Worth 1000 Words? Photo Characteristics Associated with Personality Impression Agreement
Fitzgerald Steele, Jr., David C Evans, Rachel K. Green

Last modified: 2009-07-07


Social-Networking Websites (SNWs) are rapidly becoming a central media for social exchange. A basic question is how well are people able to get to know each other through these websites? In this study, we explore characteristics of the profile photographs and their association with impression agreement. Using a specially designed social networking website, we examined 1,316 first-impressions of profile owners who had posted photographs as part of a complete profile. The results suggest that photographs in which the profile owners were smiling, outdoors, and shown with others were associated with higher impression agreement. Several gender interactions suggested that other aspects of the photographs, including head covering and apparent weight, also affected impression agreement depending on the gender of the profile owner and visitors. These results were interpreted in light of the literature on interpersonal perception.


personality; impressions; self-other agreement; online identity; social networking; social computing; social media

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