More on Facebook

24 September 2008 at 7:12 am 2 comments

| Nicolai Foss |

We bloggers face strong competition from Facebook, as recognized in earlier O&M posts. FB integrates numerous functionalities, including blogging features, and allows narcissism to run amok in a more interactive fashion than blogging allows for. Irresistible. Therefore, smart bloggers embrace FB. As of today, O&M also has a category called “Facebook.”

Facebook is, of course, also an attractive hunting ground for all those ICT-obsesssed network sociologists or computer scientists-turned-sociologists (e.g., here and here) out there, as well as for personality psychologists. Concerning the latter, in the latest issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Laura Buffardi and W. Keith Campbell report on “Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites.” The authors conclude, among other things, that narcissists have more friends (rather, acquaintances), more personal info and more glamorous pics of themselves on FB than non-narcissists. (Now, check this profile).

Perhaps not a surprising finding, but still good to now (particularly for job applicants, given that employers now routinely check FB profiles). And surely it won’t take long before we see the first applications in network studies of the “narcissism index” as an antecedent of this or that (“Narcissism as an Antecedent of Knowledge Sharing in Networks”). Heck, they come up with a new measure every morning anyway.

Here is the abstract:

The present research examined how narcissism is manifested on a social networking Web site (i.e., Narcissistic personality self-reports were collected from social networking Web page owners. Then their Web pages were coded for both objective and subjective content features. Finally, strangers viewed the Web pages and rated their impression of the owner on agentic traits, communal traits, and narcissism. Narcissism predicted (a) higher levels of social activity in the online community and (b) more self-promoting content in several aspects of the social networking Web pages. Strangers who viewed the Web pages judged more narcissistic Web page owners to be more narcissistic. Finally, mediational analyses revealed several Web page content features that were influential in raters’ narcissistic impressions of the owners, including quantity of social interaction, main photo self-promotion, and main photo attractiveness. Implications of the expression of narcissism in social networking communities are discussed.

Entry filed under: - Foss -, Ephemera, Facebook, Institutions.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bo  |  29 September 2008 at 11:01 am

    What does this say about those of us who are not on FB at all? I find it seriously annoying that I daily get invited to some FB site and it is beginning to make me feel that I may actually be missing something valuable – but am I? Well – I am still undecided on the issue but will return to my good old-fashioned books in the meantime and simply keep checking this blog for valuable insights now and then…

  • 2. Sam MacAulay  |  30 September 2008 at 9:18 pm

    For those interested there is already some existing work on psychological predispositions and network structure. See

    Psychological predispositions and network structure: The relationship between individual predispositions, structural holes and network closure, Social Networks, Volume 28, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 56-84

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Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

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