This study combines the fields of communication studies and psychology in order to determine the relationship between personality type, academic background, and social media content. Ten participants from each of McMaster University’s seven undergraduate faculties completed a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to determine their personality type, and submitted 10 personally written status updates or comments from the social media platforms of Twitter or Facebook. The Content Analysis of Verbatim Explanation (CAVE) method was used to analyze 630 social media content to determine overall positive or negative explanatory style.
The dominant personality types at McMaster University as determined by the 70 participants are: INFP, ENFJ, and ISTJ. In type preference it was found that 68% of the participants prefer the attitude of Introversion (I), 70% prefer the perceptive function of Intuition (N), 54.3% prefer the judging function of Thinking (T), and 61.4% prefer the orientation of Judging (J). The following personality preferences were found to be correlated with the CAVE’s explanatory dichotomies: Internal/External with Sensing (S) / Judging (J), Stable/Unstable with Extraversion (E) / Sensing, Global/Specific with Sensing/Thinking, and Controllable/Uncontrollable with Sensing.
Of the 630 submitted social media content, 68.4% of them were found describing positive events. It was found that 92.1% of the social media content contained an optimistic explanatory style. These findings strongly suggest that the majority of content written and uploaded on social media is positive and that personality type plays a minor role in content and explanations produced. It is concluded from these results that social media is an inherently positive medium for university students. The primary reason for this is believed to be a result of social media being an immensely public sphere forcing all individuals, regardless of personality type, to engage in higher levels of self-monitoring.
Manley, D.P. (2012). Personality and Positive Psychology in Social Media and Post-Secondary Education. Graduate Major Research Papers and Multimedia Projects.