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Sept. 20, 2012 Volume 34, No. 5

Positive Facebook profile sways visitors, MU study finds

Saving Face

First impressions matter on the social network site

Facebook comments and pictures matter.

That’s the conclusion of a Facebook study by Seoyeon Hong, a doctoral student, and Kevin Wise, associate professor, at the School of Journalism.

The study, published last month in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, found that negative comments made by people on a person’s Facebook profile had greater impact than the page owner’s positive comments about himself or herself on the page.

“Opinions of other people matter more than the target person’s own self-presentation,” Hong said. “Thus, for social networking users concerned about forming a desired impression, being aware of other-generated information about oneself is paramount in the goal of achieving a positive self-presentation.”

Moreover, profile pictures that showed the page owner doing an activity, such as mountain climbing or playing a musical instrument, registered more positive responses than headshots, Hong said.