Spotting the Self-Monitor: Accuracy in self-monitoring based on Facebook profiles



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Texas A&M International University


Past studies have examined the relationship between social network usage and certain personality traits. For instance, correlations have been found between Facebook usage and personality aspects such as narcissism, shyness, and interdependence. However, previous research has only looked at self-ratings and researcher coding of such personality traits in order to look at these relationships. Furthermore, few studies have examined how accurately individuals are perceived or how accurately they present themselves using Facebook profiles. The current study examined the relationship between self-ratings and perceiver ratings of self-monitoring and likability. In the first phase of the study, a self-rating scale was used among college students (N = 25) to collect Facebook profile screenshots of high and low self-monitors. These screen shots were then used as the stimuli for the second phase of the study, where a second pool of college students (N = 221) rated those individuals on self-monitoring and likeability based solely on the information gathered from the Facebook profiles. It was predicted that there would be a significant difference between perceiver and self-ratings. Independent t-tests was used to compare the mean perceiver self-monitoring score to self-ratings. The results were significant, meaning perceivers did not accurately detect targets’ self-monitoring based on the way the individuals presented themselves on their Facebook profiles. It was also predicted that high self-monitors would be seen as less likable than low self-monitors. An analysis of variance found that those who were perceived as high self-monitors were in fact rated as less likable.