Writing a blog reveals more about you than researchers previously thought, according to one of the largest studies on the matter done to date by CU psychology and neuroscience postdoctoral fellow Tal Yarkoni.
Contrary to popular wisdom, the research indicates people do not present themselves in an overly idealized way online but rather maintain online identities that reflect the way they see themselves and are viewed by others.
While there have been studies on personality and language, they relied on writing or speech samples that were limited in size and focused on general personality traits. Yarkoni leaped over these hurdles by studying almost 700 bloggers who wrote a total of more than 115,000 words. The larger samples allowed Yarkoni to identify both the broad categories and specific words certain personalities use.
For instance, highly neurotic people tend to use specific negative adjectives like “terrible” and “worse” while agreeable personalities most often use the words “wonderful,” “together” and “visiting.”
Of the remaining three “Big Five” personality types, extroverts often use “bar,” “other” and “drinks.” Those showing openness use “folk,” “humans” and “poet” while conscientious personalities use “completed,” “adventure” and “stupid,” among others.
“If you’re sociable and like to seek out people offline, you’re probably going to do the same thing online,” Yarkoni notes. “Our personalities don’t dramatically change just because we’ve turned off our computers.”
Read the full article in the Arts and Sciences Magazine at http://artsandsciences.colorado.edu/magazine.