Fun With Statistics: Facebook Use by Personality Type

We recently ran a survey to find out what correlation, if any, there is between personality type and Facebook usage.  One of the specific areas we were interested in was whether any types had noticeably more “friends” than other types.  At a superficial level, it seemed intuitive (to me) to guess that “E”’s would have more Facebook friends than “I”’s, or that Idealists would have more Facebook friends than Rationals.  But, in my personal sample space, that isn’t necessarily the case – several of my INTJ friends are prolific Facebook users with more than 800 FB friends (compared to my anemic 106).   The survey did indeed show a large variance in FB usage – keep reading for the results.

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It turned out that the first part of my guess was correct (and counter to my personal sample results):  Extroverts have significantly more FB friends than Introverts – in fact almost 20% of Extroverts have more than 500 FB friends, while fewer than 8% of Introverts have this many.   Now, of course my introverted friends are quick to point out that the vast majority of FB friends are superficial, and that Extroverts are much more prone to being superficial than their introverted counterparts, who are more selective in who they “friend”.  This may be true – I look forward to comments in this area.

Of the 4 temperaments, Artisans have the most FB friends, followed by Idealists.  Guardians are in third place, and (as I suspected) Rationals bring up the rear (again counter to my very small personal sample results).  At the opposite end of the FB spectrum, these results hold steady – Rationals are the most likely to not have a FB account (at almost 24%) while only 17% of Artisans don’t participate.

Finally, the breakdown of the 16 types:  the “friendliest” personality type on Facebook?  Way out in front are the Promoters – more than 27% of ESTP’s have more than 500 FB friends.  The most socially reclusive FB participants?  Only 4% of INTJ’s have more than 500 FB friends – Randy and Ray, you are unique!

0 thoughts on “Fun With Statistics: Facebook Use by Personality Type”

  1. I’m an Idealist Champion and I detest the fact of FaceBook, even though I realise that there’re positives and negatives to everything and anything. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why people would want to spend time putting living their lives on line. I’m concerned about the depth and strength of my friendships rather than the breadth of them. I prefer to call someone or to email/write a letter to someone whom I consider a friend and the ‘conversation’ that I have with them will be both private and an act of personal connection rather than an act of superficial, small talk, but then I understand how important it is for others to do something differently.

    1. The champion idealist in my family has the same love/hate reaction to facebook: she participates, expecting more intensity in the interactions, gets frustrated and abandons it –only to return to see what people are doing. As I share some of this idealist nature myself, I experience this too. I have finally decided to live and let live. A passionate reaction can be off putting to others, who just have there own way of enjoying social interactions.

  2. Hi, This is really interesting!!!

    I am a Rational Thinker and I love facebook. It allows me to interact and get a feel of what my friends views are on a topic of interest or my passion; films lol.

    It also allows me to develop possible collaborations on projects I am working on or thinking about. But its really useful for keeping in contact with my many friends I have made whilst travelling abroad. I get to see their pictures, hear about their stories and keep in touch more visually although we may speak on the phone.

    Z

  3. I am an INTJ and I find Facebook or any other social network to be a waste of time. I occasionally drop in to have a look around and sure enough, most of the postings are pure drivel. I have better things to do. I prefer face to face interactions to more clearly read the nuances of body language and facial expressions. The eyes are the doorway to the soul…not our fingertips.

  4. I think we also need to look more in depth at why certain personality types use FB. I am an INTJ, and I have over 1,000 friends — mostly because of cooperative gaming. Less than 5 of these people are real “friends”!!! Some of my family is on-line, but like the first poster, I prefer to call to keep in touch rather than put out personal information on FB. For me, FB is a great resource to find out information but not really somewhere I prefer to form relationships that share too many personal details of my life …

  5. Haha. I’m an Idealist Champion too and I LOVE Myers-briggs. While I wouldn’t say I LOVE Facebook, I am now approaching a 1000 FB friends, admittedly many of them are superficial.

    WHY do different types like/dislike Facebook? Interestingly, for instance, Laura Pavlou-Mudie dislikes FB because of her search for authenticity… while I, of the same personality type, would have to say that my biggest attraction to it is the possibility of influencing and engaging with a large, almost public audience. Both the search for authenticity and the marketer/champion-of-a-cause vibe is typical ENFP, but these two priorities pushed us in opposing directions in terms of our feelings towards FB.

    Also interesting that all three the other comments were from INTJs and had divergent views. Might it be that an INTJ like Zayneb Khan manages via FB to overcome social structures that would usually obstruct his intellectual interaction with others with the same passion? My sister, an INTJ who loves horses, is also quite active on FB and engages especially with other horse loving friends. Donna Rule also points to a common interest – gaming – that motivates the use of FB, while (s)he prefers that personal relationships happen offline. Teresa has yet to find a social network where most of it isn’t “pure drivel” and she rejects it – just like Donna Rule – as a medium for personal relationship building. Once she finds a social network that links her to others all over the world who share one of her (possibly very clearly defined) interests, I’d be interested to see whether she responds with more enthusiasm.

    1. Just noticed your comment; I am a ENTP. I am entriged by social media and its possibilities for connecting communities. There has been many face to face real collaborations and friendships that started on facebook. Watch this space!

      Ms Zayneb 🙂

  6. Facebook.

    I keep losing my password, I don’t believe it to be particularly quality ‘privacy’, I haven’t found anything of interest or real value from it, (I do acknowledge it has some great and positive aspects), I’m just not into ‘smalltalk’, the site itself is confusing to my mind, the practicality of navigating around it is a challenge. My life can be facebook, a lot of interaction, pleasure and business, I don’t seek that in cyberspace, I don’t want that.

    I find I am almost at times co-erced? into being on facebook, that in itself is enough for me to dig stubborn Healer heels in.

    I find I increasingly treasure and value solitude, non networking, selective communication, so being a part of facebook tends to diminish that. Twitter I can select, most specifically what topics I am interested in, that comes in in brief form, simple and to my computer, facebook can be trying to negotiate around conversations and opinionated rants…I’ve attempted facebook twice, so it isn’t that I’m giving feedback on something I have not even tasted, but it’s just not for me. I would pinpoint it down to anything introverted so much, more a few complex issues, probably more along the lines cyberspace is an opportunity for me to research and learn, those things I just don’t get from facebook. It just doesn’t have any use for me.

    Hope that feedback helps some.

    Idealist (Healer).

  7. Damn, I meant ‘wouldn’t’. I wouldn’t pinpoint it down to introverted, (for me). It is more multiple reasons.

  8. I am not interested in being on facebook in the slightest. Sharing my life in such an ‘out-there’ way holds no appeal whatsoever. As an ISFJ, I suppose that what I have just said makes perfect sense. I prefer communicating with people at a much more sensory level. I like to see, hear and generally sense people. I don’t imagine I can do that on facebook with any satisfaction.

  9. I’m an INFP (Idealist-Healer), and I use Facebook quite a lot. I have 275 friends, all but one of whom I know in person (many of whom I’ve considered “de-friending”, because I interact with probably only 100ish of them on any kind of a regular basis, but I, perhaps absurdly, fear causing damage to people’s feelings by weeding out my friends list). I like Facebook because it’s sort of a channel for my more extroverted side, which I often have difficulty bringing out in face-to-face interactions. I’m much more adept at written communication than verbal (talking on the phone is a nightmare for me). Unlike talking, I can tailor every word before sharing it, which helps me feel more confident and less emotionally impulsive. Facebook is also a way for me to express my sense of humor when no one else is physically around—I can make witty quips via status update whenever they occur to me—or exhaust some emotional energy when I’m really moody or upset. I also enjoy the opportunity to interact with large nerdy communities of people with similar interests and passions, like poetry composition, Tolkien, and Doctor Who.

  10. Kiersten, I love to talk with others but I also love to write for (precisely) many of the reasons that you describe. I’m wondering……and assuming……that there might be degrees of extraversion/introversion. Although I can talk (for England), I love that I can deliberate and be deliberate, in terms of being (relatively) accurate in expressing myself, in writing. I can do this in ways that I am unable to do when in conversation with others, Writing my thoughts gives me the time to think, ponder, postulate and analyse. Talking’s great but writing provides me with a level of accuracy and objectivity that I just can’t seem to achieve when I’m tripping over my impulse to express when I’m talking. I can see the attraction in communicating with others with whom you share interests. I find that an attractive prospect because I love to meet people but I still feel that there’s a corner of myself that I prefer to keep private from the ‘remote’ world (as I see it) of facebook. I seek to connect with people on a personal level which involves personal interaction.

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