338 Personality Predictors & Social Media

Research by Fox, Jesse, and Rooney, Margaret C. (2015).

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S.

Have you ever scrolled through Facebook and seen selfie after selfie of the same person and wondered, “What makes someone post so many pictures of themselves?”

Ohio State University researchers wanted to know what personality traits in men predicted their use of social networking and posting. They examined the traits of narcissism (or excessive self-interest), Machiavellianism (or cunning self-promotion), psychopathy (antisocial, lacking empathy, egotistical) and self-objectification (seeing themselves as objects as media portrays men) in relation to:

–           time spent on social networking.

–           posting “selfies”

–           using photo editing

A male, nationally representative sample, ages 18 – 40, completed a trait self-objectification questionnaire ranking their various body traits.   They also completed a combined personality measure of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, and reported the amount of time spent on social networking sites, the number of “selfies” posted and how often they edited photos.

Results? Those with excessive self-interest (or narcissism) and self-objectification traits spent more time on social networking sites and photo editing. Excessive self-interest and less consideration of others (psychopathy) predicted an increase in selfies posted.

So, the old saying may be true! A picture is worth 1000 words — about YOU!!


Fox, J., and Rooney, M., C. (2015). The dark triad and trait self-objectification as predictors of men’s use and self-presentation behaviors on social networking sites. Personality and Individual Differences, 75, 161-165.

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