Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants' Social Media Postings

Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University , Raleigh, North Carolina.
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (Impact Factor: 2.18). 06/2013; DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0163
Source: PubMed


Job applicants and incumbents often use social media for personal communications allowing for direct observation of their social communications "unfiltered" for employer consumption. As such, these data offer a glimpse of employees in settings free from the impression management pressures present during evaluations conducted for applicant screening and research purposes. This study investigated whether job applicants' (N=175) personality characteristics are reflected in the content of their social media postings. Participant self-reported social media content related to (a) photos and text-based references to alcohol and drug use and (b) criticisms of superiors and peers (so-called "badmouthing" behavior) were compared to traditional personality assessments. Results indicated that extraverted candidates were prone to postings related to alcohol and drugs. Those low in agreeableness were particularly likely to engage in online badmouthing behaviors. Evidence concerning the relationships between conscientiousness and the outcomes of interest was mixed.

461 Reads
    • "The OSN services have become a fruitful, although controversial (Stoughton et al., 2013) source of information used by companies to screen candidates. In this regard, Black "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was threefold. First, we examined whether extraversion contributes to the evaluations of an online social network user’s physical attractiveness made by professional recruiters. We studied if this relationship is mediated by a degree of user’s activity and popularity among other users. Second, we presumed this relationship to be specified in terms of the five-factor theory of personality. A type of characteristic adaptation named reflected extraversion was assumed to incrementally contribute to this relationship. Reflected extraversion is a meta-perception representing one’s opinion on how extraverted one is as perceived by significant others. Third, user popularity treated as an external influence in terms of the five-factor theory was presumed to reciprocally affect reflected extraversion. Profiles of 188 online social network users were assessed by four professional recruiters. The latter were asked to evaluate the physical attractiveness of the former. The users completed a number of self-report measures. Various behavioural indicators extracted from the profiles were measured. Extraversion enhanced recruiter-rated physical attractiveness via two paths: user activity and user popularity. The inclusion of reflected extraversion failed to improve the model substantially. However, reflected extraversion mediated the link between trait extraversion and the indicators of user popularity, but not the indicators of user activity. The reciprocal path from user popularity toward reflected extraversion was negligible. The study shows that extraversion may allow people to efficiently manage online networking to convince recruiters that they are physically attractive, even in the absence of any offline communications.
    Australian Journal of Psychology 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/ajpy.12108 · 1.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Conscientiousness describes people who are organized, responsible , and hard-working. They tend to use Facebook less frequently than people who are lower in conscientiousness (Gosling et al., 2011), but when they do use it, conscientious individuals are diligent and discreet: they have more Facebook friends (Amichai- Hamburger & Vinitzky, 2010), they avoid badmouthing people (Stoughton et al., 2013), and they are less likely to post on Facebook to seek attention or acceptance (Seidman, 2013). Thus, we predicted that conscientiousness would be positively associated with updating about inoffensive, ''safe'' topics (i.e., social activities and everyday life), which would be mediated by the lower tendency of using Facebook for validation (Hypothesis 5). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Status updates are one of the most popular features of Facebook, but few studies have examined the traits and motives that influence the topics that people choose to update about. In this study, 555 Facebook users completed measures of the Big Five, self-esteem, narcissism, motives for using Facebook, and frequency of updating about a range of topics. Results revealed that extraverts more frequently updated about their social activities and everyday life, which was motivated by their use of Facebook to communicate and connect with others. People high in openness were more likely to update about intellectual topics, consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information. Participants who were low in self-esteem were more likely to update about romantic partners, whereas those who were high in conscientiousness were more likely to update about their children. Narcissists’ use of Facebook for attention- seeking and validation explained their greater likelihood of updating about their accomplishments and their diet and exercise routine. Furthermore, narcissists’ tendency to update about their accomplishments explained the greater number of likes and comments that they reported receiving to their updates.
    Personality and Individual Differences 10/2015; 85:35-40. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2015.04.039 · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper provides the first comprehensive account of personalized default rules and personalized disclosure in the law. Under a personalized approach to default rules, individuals are assigned default terms in contracts or wills that are tailored to their own personalities, characteristics, and past behaviors. Similarly, disclosures by firms or the state can be tailored so that only information likely to be relevant to an individual is disclosed, and information likely to be irrelevant to her is omitted. The paper explains how the rise of Big Data makes the effective personalization of default rules and disclosure far easier than it would have been during earlier eras. The paper then shows how personalization might improve existing approaches to the law of consumer contracts, medical malpratice, inheritance, landlord-tenant relations, and labor law.The paper makes several contributions to the literature. First, it shows how data mining can be used to identify particular personality traits in individuals, and these traits may in turn predict preferences for particular packages of legal rights. Second, it proposes a regime whereby a subset of the population (“guinea pigs”) is given a lot of information about various contractual terms and plenty of time to evaluate their desirability, with the choices of particular guinea pigs becoming the default choices for those members of the general public who have similar personalities, demographic characterics, and patterns of observed behavior. Third, we assess a lengthy list of drawbacks to the personalization of default rules and disclosure, including cross-susidization, strategic behavior, uncertainty, stereotyping, privacy, and institutional competence concerns. Finally, we explain that the most trenchant critiques of the disclosure strategy for addressing social ills are really criticisms of impersonal disclosure. Personalized disclosure not only offers the potential to cure the ills associated with impersonal disclosure strategies, but it can also ameliorate many of the problems associated with the use of personalized default rules.
    SSRN Electronic Journal 02/2013; 112(8). DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2217064
Show more