Posted February 22, 2010 8:26 am by with 6 comments

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It appears as though the concept of being “radically transparent” is reaching the huddled masses on social networks.

Back in 2007, 31% of social network users admitted that they had falsified some of their profile details. Today, a new study suggests that we’re all actually quite honest about how we portray ourselves–at least, on Facebook.

Psychologists studied 236 US and German students and looked at how closely their real personalities matched up with their “idealized personalities”–who they’d like to be online. Apparently, the majority of the group didn’t play out their perfect persona, instead they were pretty transparent in who they were:

…there was no evidence of self-idealization, and ideal-self ratings did not predict observer impressions above and beyond actual personality

Usually at this point, I throw in a pretty chart that provides a nice visual of the results found by the study. Well, this time we’re dealing with raw data, and I honestly have no clue how to interpret this chart:

My psychology professor would be so ashamed of me right now. :-(

(via here & here)

  • Samit Malkani

    Hi Andy,

    This was a good post to read. I was pleasantly surprised to note that it agreed with a blog post I’d written some time back about how social media is keeping us more honest.

    I enjoy reading your blog, and look forward to more posts.


    .-= Samit Malkani´s last blog ..Ten Commandments For Digital Clients =-.

  • Frank Reed

    Who needs to understand it? It’s research! Just believe it and it will be true (that along with 3 clicks of your heels as well while saying “There’s no place like research, there’s no place like research”).
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..A Classic SMB Internet Marketing Story – Our Friends’ Closet =-.

    • Andy Beal


  • Mat

    It may be true in some cases.. but you still see some whoppers being told on facebook 😀

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  • Josh G

    Want to make your facebook profile have a color or an image background check out, Cheers