Filed under: Conference Papers | Tags: attractiveness, Facebook, ICA2010, Kim, Tong, Van Der Heide, wall posts, Westerman
Full title: The Role of Friends’ Appearance and Behavior on Evaluations of Individuals on Facebook: Are We Known by the Company We Keep?
Joseph B. Walther 1,2, Brandon Van Der Heide2, Sang-Yeon Kim2, David Westerman3, & Stephanie Tom Tong2
1 Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
2 Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
3 Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506
This research explores how cues deposited by social partners onto one’s online networking profile affect observers’ impressions of the profile owner. An experiment tested the relationships between both (a) what one’s associates say about a person on a social network site via ‘‘wall postings,’’ where friends leave public messages, and (b) the physical attractiveness of one’s associates reflected in the photos that accompany their wall postings on the attractiveness and credibility observers attribute to the target profile owner. Results indicated that profile owners’ friends’ attractiveness affected their own in an assimilative pattern. Favorable or unfavorable statements about the targets interacted with target gender: Negatively valenced messages about certain moral behaviors increased male profile owners’ perceived physical attractiveness, although they caused females to be viewed as less attractive.
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Full article (.pdf): Walther, Van Der Heide, Kim, Westerman, Tong