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What Can We Learn About People From Their Social Media? – Psychology Today

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Source: geralt via pixabay | CC0 license

The majority of Americans use at least one form of social media. If you’re reading this, you probably use social media yourself and have contacts ranging from people you know intimately, like your immediate family and close friends, to people you’ve met just a few times or haven’t had contact with in years.

So what we can we learn about people from their social media? Despite opportunities to control what we post and curate an idealized image, research suggests that for the most part, social media profiles reflect people’s actual personalities, not idealized versions of themselves.

The Big Five Personality Traits

A large body of research on social media use and personality has focused on the Big 5 personality traits, the most widely-accepted trait theory. When people are asked to rate how much different traits characterize them, those traits cluster into five groups:

Personality predicts what people do on social media.

Researchers studying social media and personality often ask users about their behaviors or log users’ behavior and determine what correlates with different personality traits. In a meta-analysis, combining the results of more than 30 different studies like this, Lui and Campbell found several patterns. Extraverts tended to spend more time interacting with others on social media. People high in agreeableness tended not to be any more or less social than their less agreeable counterparts, but they did post more photos. Conscientious people tended to spend less time using social media to learn about others and to play games. High openness predicted the opposite pattern of high conscientiousness – More time seeking information about others and more time gaming. Like extraversion, neuroticism was also related to posting more updates and content on social media.

In addition, research shows that personality relates to the specific types of content people post, as I detailed in an earlier article. Despite the general tendency for social media profiles to accurately reflect personality, there is evidence that these profiles are less accurate for people high in neuroticism, who are more likely to present idealized or less authentic images of themselves.

Personality predicts the words people use on social media.

In a fascinating area of study, researchers have used specialized software programs to analyze the language people use in their social media posts. In one such study, researchers used a computer algorithm to determine which words were uniquely related to different personality traits. Words that predicted high levels of extraversion included “love,” “night” and “party” – words that reflect social activity or relationships. Those with low levels of extraversion, on the other hand, were more likely to use the words “computer,” “I’ve,” and “I don’t,” reflecting both a greater focus on the self and a preference for activities involving things rather than people.  Highly conscientious people were more likely to use the words “family,” “week,” and “weekend.” These word choices are indicative of their tendency to plan and focus on family responsibilities. People with low conscientiousness were more likely to use swear words, indicating a lack of caution in what they post. Not surprisingly, agreeable individuals used more positive words, and people low in agreeableness used more negative words, especially hostile swear words. Neuroticism was also associated with using negative words, but more sad, rather than angry.

Other researchers who mine social media data have used frameworks that classify words into categories, rather than looking at word frequency. For example, researchers might organize words into groups like “negative emotions” or “social relations.” Not surprisingly, these studies show that extraverts use more words relating to family and social processes. Interestingly, people high in agreeableness tend to talk about food more, but talk less about achievement and money. People high in conscientiousness and openness were both more likely to talk about work. This likely reflects conscientious individuals’ greater diligence about work and open individuals’ greater likelihood of pursuing work they are interested in or passionate about.

The content on social media predicts personality.

Researchers sometimes look at the specific content people post on social media. This can include basic profile features, like number of “likes,” number of friends, or number of status updates. Bachrach and colleagues found they could predict social media users’ levels of extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness from this information.

Other researchers have found that what people “like” on Facebook is related to their personality. So their preferences for different music or TV shows, products or websites, or even specific types of content posted by friends all relate to personality. In one particularly impressive demonstration of this, Youyou, Kosinski, and Stillwell used people’s “likes” to predict their scores on personality measures. Then they compared this to personality ratings provided by that person’s friends, family, and work colleagues. The researchers found that “likes” predicted people’s personality better than the reports of people who actually knew them.

So what can we learn about someone’s personality from their social media activity?

The computer algorithm approaches are powerful, and suggest that social media companies could know more about you than you think (but that’s a topic for another day…). But ordinary people can also use the insights from this research to understand their social media friends better. Taken to together, these findings suggest that there are a number of factors that could hint at someone’s personality:

  • Extraversion: Extraverts are easily identifiable on social media. This is not that surprising, as in offline settings, extraversion tends to be the easiest trait to guess when first meeting someone. Extraverts tend to have more friends, interact with others more, “like” content more frequently, and use more words that reflect social activities.
  • Conscientiousness: Conscientious people are more cautious by nature, and by most metrics, they engage with social media less than their less conscientious counterparts. And when do they engage on social media, they are more likely to talk about work and family.
  • Agreeableness: Agreeable people tend to post more photos. They also tend to opt for more cheerful language, whereas those especially low on agreeableness gravitate toward particularly negative and hostile terms.
  • Openness: For people high in openness, their social media use is likely to reflect their interests. They spend more time using social media as a way to seek information, to talk about their work, or to play games.
  • Neuroticism: Neurotic individuals tend to be more active on social media, much like extraverts. But unlike extraverts, they tend to express more negative emotions in their language, which makes sense given the propensity to experience more negative emotions. And they are especially likely to try to present a more idealized version of themselves.

While you can’t  totally judge a book by its cover, or even its social media profile, our social media profiles may reveal more about us than we think.

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Media election planners prepare for a night of mystery – Assiniboia Times

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NEW YORK — This coming weekend, CNN’s Sam Feist will distribute to his staff copies of the testimony news executives gave to Congress when they tried to explain how television networks got 2000’s disputed election so spectacularly wrong.

It’s required reading — perhaps never more than this year. Media planners are preaching caution in the face of a surge in early voting, high anxiety levels overall and a president who raises the spectre of another disputed election.

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“We need to prepare ourselves for a different kind of election night,” said Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief, “and the word I keep using is ‘patience.’”

Nearly half of people polled recently by the Pew Research Center said they intend to follow election night returns closely. It’s easy to see this year eclipsing 2008’s record of 71.5 million people who watched for results, and many will have laptops, tablets or smartphones ready for a multi-screen experience.

CBS News built a new studio where pop stars once visited MTV’s “Total Request Live,” and Fox News hired the makers of the “Fortnite” video game to design whiz-bang graphics, an illustration of the money and planning that goes in to the quadrennial event.

Live television coverage will extend into the early morning of Nov. 4 and perhaps beyond. NBC News has mapped out a schedule to stay on the air for days if necessary, said Noah Oppenheim, NBC News president.

Besides the traditional broadcast and cable news networks, there will be live-stream options from the likes of The Washington Post and others, including websites filled with graphics and raw numbers.

“There is an odd combination of anticipation and uncertainty about this election night, more than any other election night I can remember,” said David Bohrman, a television veteran who this year is producing the CBS News coverage.

Election nights always have surprises, but the worry this year is being driven by the large number of people voting early or by mail, in part driven by the coronavirus. By many estimates, the early vote will eclipse the number of people going to polling places on Election Day for the first time.

That’s an extraordinary change: In 1972, only 5 per cent of votes were cast prior to Election Day, and by 2016 it was 42.5 per cent. That profoundly affects how the results are reported.

Some states begin counting early votes as they come in. Some wait until Election Day or even after polls close. Some key states count absentee ballots only if they are postmarked by Election Day. Elsewhere, ballots can arrive as late as Nov. 13, as is the case in Ohio.

Some states have enough experience that their counts usually go quickly and smoothly. Other counts are more problematic. Florida and North Carolina are two battleground states that have, historically, done well at counting and posting the results of mail ballots on election night.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are prohibited by state law from processing mail ballots until Election Day. It can be a cumbersome process, and since neither state has experience counting as many ballots as are expected this year, it may be days before their results are known.

With more Democrats than Republicans voting early, the pace of how votes are reported is also important. Some states will release early votes before the Election Day tallies. That can make the first numbers shown on the screen appear deceptive, said Steve Kornacki, elections guru at MSNBC.

The challenge is knowing all those idiosyncrasies and communicating them clearly, he said.

“When I say I want a few more days (to study), that’s why,” he said.

Instead of listing how many voting precincts are reporting, ABC News will tell viewers the percentage of expected votes that are in so far, said Marc Burstein, senior executive producer who’s been in charge of ABC election coverage since 2000.

“Our byword of the night is transparency,” Burstein said. “We will tell people what we know. We will tell people what we don’t know, and we will tell them why.”

News organizations will still declare winners in individual states much as they have done in the past, using a combination of poll results and actual vote totals. Again, the expectation is these calls may be slower than in past years.

Producers say viewers should look to Florida as an early bellwether, because of its importance, efficiency in counting and early poll closing time. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog said last week that if Democrat Joe Biden wins Florida, his chances of winning the presidency shoot up to 99 per cent. If President Donald Trump wins the state, his reelection chances jump to 39 per cent, what Silver calls essentially a tossup.

North Carolina and Ohio are other states where relatively early results could give an indication of how the night is going.

Perhaps.

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected,” said Alan Komissaroff, Fox News senior vice-president of news and politics.

More reporting from outside of studios will likely be on display, with news organizations placing greater emphasis on voter integrity issues and the possibility of legal challenges. PBS is tapping a dozen public broadcasting reporters from across the country to contribute to its coverage. The Washington Post is stationing reporters in 36 states.

Networks are hiring election law experts in case those issues need to be addressed.

Because of the coronavirus, CBS’ Bohrman said people who will be on the network’s new set are being tested every day.

ABC News’ Manhattan set isn’t big enough for everyone to be 6 feet apart, so the network will operate out of three different studios on election night, including the set of “The View,” Burstein said.

At some point, after months of pontificating and speculating, the conclusion of the 2020 election will be known. Four years ago, The Associated Press declared Trump the next president at 2:29 a.m. the day after the election.

“We’re going in prepared but without preconceptions,” Oppenheim said.

___

AP’s Election Decision Editor Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington contributed to this report.

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LILLEY: Media ignores bombshells on Biden, once again – Toronto Sun

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Article content continued

Despite all of that, Biden wasn’t asked a single question about any of the revelations on Wednesday when he spoke with reporters.

“The manner in which this story has been covered can only be described as the ‘lapdog press,’ as contrasted with the ‘watchdog press,’” DePauw University media professor Jeffrey McCall told Fox News.

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The real problem is, this isn’t just restricted to reporting from Fox News or the New York Post, outlets the left will dismiss no matter how solid the reporting.

They also ignore reporting from left-leaning outlets like Politico or Pro Publica.

Back in February, Pro Publica ran an extensive piece on the business dealings of Joe Biden’s brother James with mentions of Hunter and how all the Biden family business relates back to Joe’s political connections.

It detailed how Jim Biden had many questionable and failed businesses, also many backers, based off of his connection to Joe and Joe’s career in the Senate or runs for the presidency.

Bad loans, bankruptcy, even a lawsuit that the report quoted as saying that Jim Biden would generate business, “through his family name and his resemblance to his brother, United States Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware.”

There was no rush of coverage from other media outlets though, even though Biden was the clear front runner to take on Donald Trump at that point.

The same thing happened months earlier when Politico ran an extensive piece.

That story detailed the time, back in 2006, when Jim and Hunter Biden took over a New York hedge fund with plans to market it to unions friendly to Joe Biden’s political career and foreign entities that would want to donate to his looming presidential campaign but would be banned from doing so for legal reasons.

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InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 16:05 EST – InvestorIntel

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InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at info@investorintel.com

Watchlist Companies:
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.23 (0.0%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Lingo Media Corp (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corp Inc (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Moovly Media Inc (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.68 (0.0%)
– Quizam Media Corp (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (0.0%)
– HubSpot Inc (HUBS) USD 297.53 (-2.31%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 3.53 (-3.55%)
– MediaValet Inc (MVP.V) CAD 2.30 (-4.17%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 456.97 (-4.51%)
– Network Media Group Inc (NTE.V) CAD 0.13 (-10.34%)

InvestorChannel

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