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Personality homophily and geographic distance in Facebook

Noe, Nyala, Whitaker, Roger M. ORCID: and Allen, Stuart M. ORCID: 2018. Personality homophily and geographic distance in Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 21 (6) , pp. 361-366. 10.1089/cyber.2017.0615

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Personality homophily remains an understudied aspect of social networks, with the traditional focus concerning sociodemographic variables as the basis for assortativity, rather than psychological dispositions. We consider the effect of personality homophily on one of the biggest constraints to human social networks: geographic distance. We use the Big Five model of personality to make predictions for each of the five facets: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Using a network of 313,669 Facebook users, we investigate the difference in geographic distance between homophilous pairs, in which both users scored similarly on a particular facet, and mixed pairs. In accordance with our hypotheses, we find that pairs of open and conscientious users are geographically further apart than mixed pairs. Pairs of extraverts, on the other hand, tend to be geographically closer together. We find mixed results for the Neuroticism facet, and no significant effects for the Agreeableness facet. The results are discussed in the context of personality homophily and the impact of geographic distance on social connections.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN: 2152-2715
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 9 April 2018
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2023 06:07

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