Narcissism, extraversion and adolescents’ self-presentation on Facebook

Notes from ‘Narcissism, extraversion and adolescents’ self-presentation on Facebook’

Costa and Mcrae said extraversion relates to the preference to seek social interaction.

Social Compensation hypothesis– Introverts gain more from CMC (computer-mediated communication) usage, as CMC platforms compensate for their weaker social skills. Orr et al found that:  Although introverts had fewer online friends and were less likely to self-disclose online as compared to extroverts, introverts found social networking websites more appealing than traditional communication methods and spent more time using them than extroverts did.

The ‘rich-get-richer’ hypothesis- Extroverts gain more from CMC usage as their offline sociability is transferred to CMC platforms. “Although extraverts self-disclose more on SNS than introverts do, it is likely that extraverts find SNS as appealing as offline social interactions and do not use SNS as substitutes to their offline social interaction.”

Correa et al found extraversion to be positively related to social media usage and to be the most important predictor of social networking website usage for emerging adults. Bibbly added to this by finding that  extraverts made more contact to friends and broadcasted their events on social networking websites. This suggests that extroverts self-disclose through much self-generated content.

Recent literature has documented the manifestation of narcissism in social network services usage. Buffardi and Campbell conducted studies into narcissism and social networking websites. They found that social networking websites provide a platform for narcissistic self-regulation, because these websites allow almost full control over self-presentation and afford the ability to maintain large social network bases of superficial relationships. Narcissists had more Facebook friends and wall-posts, and had profile pictures that are rated by others to be more physically attractive and more self-promoting than the profile pictures of non-narcissists

Bibbly found “narcissism to predict usage of Facebook to occupy time, to pursue leisure interests, and to interact with romantic interests, over and above extraversion,s uggesting that narcissists enjoy the exhibitionistic nature of social networking websites.”

Ong et al conducted a study into the relationship of narcissism and extraversion on adolescents’ self-presentation in four Facebook profile features. The results showed that more extraverted and sociable individuals engage in greater online self-presentation than less extraverted individuals do. After accounting for extraversion, there is partial support for the manifestation of narcissism in adolescents’ Facebook profile features. Narcissism could only account for self-presentation through self-generated content (e.g Facebook profile picture), and not through system-generated content. The status update is another type of self-generated content. Even after accounting for extraversion, more narcissistic adolescents updated their Facebook status more frequently than their less narcissistic peers did. This supports Bibbly, Buffardo and Campbell’s results which suggests that adolescents with higher narcissism levels enjoy the self-presentational nature of social networking software.

More narcissistic adolescents rated their Facebook profile pictures as more physically attractive, fashionable,  glamorous and more cool than the less narcissistic adolescents. Such suggests that more narcissistic adolescents select profile photos which are physically appealing to self-present on Facebook.On the other hand  “it is possible that the positive ratings reflect some extent of narcissistic self-perception bias about their physical appearance”


Ong, E.Y.L., Ang, R.P., Ho, J.C.M., Lim, J.C.Y., Goh, D.H., Lee, C.S. & Chua, A.Y.K. 2011, “Narcissism, extraversion and adolescents’ self-presentation on Facebook”, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 180-185.


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