A Picture is Worth a Thousand Posts: An Exploratory Examination of Personality Traits and Profile Picture Content

Alyss M. Hudson, Jonathan S. Gore


Despite significant interest in the Big Five personality traits and their association with Facebook, research on the Big Five personality traits and profile picture content, and gender differences in those associations, has been overlooked. We hypothesized that personality traits will be associated with the content of the individual’s profile pictures, and that this association will differ between men and women. Participants (n = 158) were first asked to log into their Facebook account, access their profile pictures, and categorize the content of their profile pictures. Participants then completed an online personality survey at a later date.  The results showed that having a high proportion of profile pictures of oneself with a close other was associated with high levels of extraversion and agreeableness. Gender differences also existed in the association of agreeableness and openness with high proportions of pictures of oneself only as well as high proportions of pictures of close others only.

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