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Title: Personality as a predictor of Facebook engagement
Author: Orchard, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 2112
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2013
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Research suggests that personality may dictate specific Internet behaviours or preferences. However, literature to date has been piecemeal and has tended to focus on generic use. One area that remains relatively unexplored is the influence of personality on engagement with social networking sites (SNSs). The current thesis aims to fill this gap by exploring the influence of personality on motivations for using SNSs and behavioural patterns within them. Eysenck’s EPQ-R short form (extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism) and Beck’s SAS (sociotropy and autonomy) were used to explore personality, both globally and specifically. Phase one of the thesis employs a ‘uses and gratifications’ framework to investigate how personality may predict motivations for using SNSs. Principal component analysis identified ten distinct motivational components, which were then successfully predicted by personality variables through regression analyses. It is therefore suggested that differing personality types vary greatly in their reasoning behind SNS usage. Results support theoretical assumptions. Phase two of the research looked at Facebook behaviours and profile construction. A content analysis of participant profiles was conducted with the help of questionnaire methodology. Data analysis suggests that personality was not a particularly strong predictor of self-presentational differences in this context; although subtle differences were present. The final phase of the research explored the perceived Facebook experience of users. A thematic analysis of an online student discussion board was conducted in order to generate distinct themes surrounding Facebook outcomes. These were used within Q Methodology to generate a concourse, through which Q sort statements were derived. Results generated four shared viewpoints of the Facebook experience, which were subsequently associated with personality through the use of traditional R methods. Again, although not particularly strong, theoretically supported associations can be seen. The thesis explores personality within SNS use in a depth previously unexplored. The conclusion makes theoretically-sound assumptions surrounding personality and SNS use as a media choice.
Supervisor: Fullwood, Chris; Morris, Neil; Galbraith, Niall Sponsor: RCAS
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social networking sites ; Sociotropy ; Uses and gratifications ; Q Methodology