What kind of a person blogs?

by Barrie Hopson on August 22, 2008 · 0 comments

in Uncategorized

As someone who has only just been drafted into blogging, albeit screaming and fighting, I was fascinated to see one of the first research studies published on what kinds of people blog. Please bear in mind that this research was done only on US university students – but then much of the accumulated knowledge of formal psychology was based on this group too!

Blogging is often referred to as the democratisation of the media. Any Tom, Dick or Harriet can log-on and broadcast their inner-most thoughts to the world. For many, the high-tech diary has become a harmless hobby, in some cases even leading to fame and lucrative book deals. For others, the irresistible lure of sharing their secrets has proven costly; they’ve lost their jobs. But who are these bloggers? Are some personality types more likely to blog than others?

Rosanna Guadagno and colleagues asked over three hundred students about their blogging habits and asked them to complete the now industry-standard Big Five Personality Inventory.

Around 20 per cent of the students blogged, mostly about their personal experiences. Among female students only, those who scored highly on neuroticism (i.e. anxious, insecure characters) were more likely to blog. This is consistent with work on internet usage that also found an
association with neurotic personality types, but only among women. The researchers surmised that nervous women may blog to “assuage loneliness or in an attempt to reach out and form social connections with others.”

Among both men and women, those who were more open to experience were also more likely to blog – perhaps unsurprisingly given that blogging is a relatively new phenomenon and given that this personality dimension is associated with creativity. This of course is the piece that applies to me and Katie – not that neurotic stuff!

Many portfolio workers blog as it is an excellent networking tool and also a learning and marketing tool but these functions may be down the line a bit for American sophomores.

So – now you know…..

GUADAGNO, R., OKDIE, B., ENO, C. (2008). Who blogs? Personality predictors
of blogging. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 1993-2004.

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