خودارائه گری در شبکه های حرفه ای: بیش از پنجره پانسمان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|38987||2015||6 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 50, September 2015, Pages 25–30
Abstract Online professional networks become more and more important for professional self-presentation, for recruitment processes, and job hunting. While previous studies determine that individuals present themselves authentically on rather privately used social networks, self-presentation on online professional networks is still unexplored. This study examines how validly individuals present themselves on professional networks. It investigates whether an individual’s online self-presentation is idealized or rather authentic. 63 owners of a profile on the German professional network XING had to describe themselves twice – first authentically and then idealistically. Both self-descriptions were compared with the ratings of five independent observers who received the participants’ XING profiles. Results reveal that observer ratings correlated significantly with some of the profile owners’ authentic personality and job-relevant characteristics, but none of them correlated significantly with the idealized self-descriptions of the profile owners. This shows that individuals present themselves rather authentically on XING.
Introduction The impression management theory (Goffman, 1961) states that in social situations individuals are concerned with the impression they make on others. This motivates them to manage their behavior strategically, and to present to others a favorable version of themselves. That means that they try to make their public presentation of self correspond with their idealized self (Baumeister, 1982). This study investigates how validly individuals present themselves in professional online networks, and whether their self-presentation mirrors more their idealized selves or their authentic selves. In accordance with previous research (Leary and Kowalski, 1990 and Schlenker, 1980), we define self-presentation as the process by which individuals are concerned with the impression they make on others in social situations. In our study, the social situation is established through an online professional setting. There the audience consists of any individuals who are able to access one’s profile. These are possible employers, head-hunters, colleagues or friends. One may expect that for such a work-related audience, people present themselves in an even more idealized way than in other contexts. In the following, we will first describe professional online networks more in detail before we review previous research literature about self-presentation in online social networks. This review leads us to the hypothesis that people present themselves rather validly in professional online networks. 1.1. Online professional networks Online professional networks offer the opportunity to facilitate social relations in business contexts. Especially for young people like students, graduates, and young professionals online networking is part of their daily life – whether for private or for business reasons. Compared to social networks, professional networks are more standardized and do not display as much personal information: E.g., user profiles are formatted like a CV; they contain the most important details about one’s education, past and current employment as well as professional skills. They usually have only one formal picture (Van Dijck, 2013). Analog to adding friends on Facebook, users can add business connections to their contact list. First degree, second degree and even third degree connections can be used for introductions to someone, a user wishes to know, or wants to add as new contact. In sum, professional networks offer a modern way of collecting business cards. They support users in finding jobs, people, and other opportunities. Furthermore, users can become part of groups and demonstrate their professional knowledge in online discussions. Employers can list jobs, and screen potential candidates. As companies compete in a “war for talents” (Chambers, Foulon, Handfield-Jones, Hankin, & Michaels, 1998), recruiting in online networks is already common practice for employers (Davison, Maraist, & Bing, 2011). They see it as a promising way to address young professionals. But also for employees professional networks offer a good opportunity to get in touch with potential employers. For this reason, one might expect, that users would probably want to present themselves as positively as possible. The pressure to present a great profile might be even higher than in privately used social networks, where people do not connect for business reasons (Cress, Schwämmlein, Wodzicki, & Kimmerle, 2014). Given the increasing popularity of social and professional networks, and given that more and more companies use professional networks to find new employees, it seems highly important to know how validly users present themselves in those networks. Do people present themselves as they really are? So, do they present themselves in an authentic manner? Or do people idealize themselves in their professional online profiles? The most popular online professional network worldwide is probably the American LinkedIn. However, in Germany it is XING, having 12 million members.1 Because the following study involves German participants, it bases on XING. Fig. 1 shows a typical profile on Xing. A typical profile on Xing. Fig. 1. A typical profile on Xing. Figure options 1.2. Self-presentation in social networks To the best of our knowledge, there is to date no experimental study about self-presentation in professional networks. Van Dijck (2013) states that LinkedIn profiles portray idealized professional identities by showing off skills, but he did not test this hypothesis empirically. However, some research about self-presentation in social networks in general does exist. It reveals mixed results: One group of studies has demonstrated that self-presentation in social networks is idealized (Brivio and Ibarra, 2009, Manago et al., 2008, Rosenberg and Egbert, 2011 and Walther, 2007). These studies confirm the hyperpersonal model of communication in online settings, which states that users utilize technological aspects to manipulate the impression they want to give in socially desirable ways (Walther, 2007). Manago et al. (2008) discussed goals for using MySpace with a group of MySpace users. These claimed that they wanted to try out possible and idealized aspects of their personalities on MySpace, because one day they wanted to be like their idealized self. In another study, Brivio and Ibarra (2009) interviewed active MySpace users, and concluded that these play with multiple personalities on MySpace. Participants intentionally chose a personality depending either on their personal goals, or on the audience of their profiles. Rosenberg and Egbert (2011) asked Facebook users about their personal goals using Facebook. According to their results, being liked by friends is an important personal goal of many users. To achieve this Facebook users idealize their self-presentation. In contrast to the results that show an idealized way of self-presentation in social networks, another group of studies shows that user profiles present users’ real selves: Strangers judged the personality of profile authors correctly based on profiles on personal websites (Marcus et al., 2006 and Vazire and Gosling, 2004), on MySpace (Gosling, Gaddis, & Vazire, 2007), and on Facebook (Back et al., 2010 and Gosling et al., 2007). In the studies of Vazire and Gosling, 2004 and Marcus et al., 2006, website authors had to answer a personality questionnaire twice, first in an authentic manner, and the second time in an idealized manner. Unacquainted observers rated the personality of the website authors based on their website. The results showed that the observers were able to rate the personality of a profile owner correctly. This shows that individuals present themselves authentically on their websites. Back et al. (2010) presented similar results for Facebook: The personality ratings of the profile owners completed by unacquainted observers were more similar to the authentic self-descriptions of the profile owners than to their idealized self-descriptions. Further research focuses on the capabilities of the observers. Gosling et al. (2007) demonstrated that on MySpace, unacquainted observers were not only good at rating the authentic personality of a profile owner correctly, but that these ratings were also very similar across different observers (Gosling et al., 2007). Kluemper and Rosen (2009) examined self-presentation on MySpace and Facebook. Observer consistency across profiles was high, and observers were able to assess profile owners’ personalities reliably. They could even distinguish low from high performers. Also the study of Kluemper, Rosen, and Mossholder (2012) revealed that ratings of online profiles demonstrated sufficient interrater reliability and internal consistency. In sum, current research results can be summarized as follows: All studies that find an idealized self-presentation directly asked users about their presentation and their goals of presentation, whereas all studies that find an authentic online self-presentation used independent observers. These studies show that those observers can form valid impressions of a person just from reading the respective user profile. So, although individuals think that they present their idealized selves, observers are still able to get an accurate impression of their real personality. The different results of the studies can be explained by systematic differences in the methodologies used: Studies that found evidence for idealized online self-presentation are based solely on statements of profile owners, whereas studies that demonstrated an authentic online self-presentation investigated whether unacquainted observers could rate the personality of a profile owner correctly or not. In those studies the observer ratings were compared with authentic and idealized self-descriptions of the profile owners and constantly showed higher correlations with the authentic presentation. Because of this much more thorough analysis, it can be concluded that results of an authentic online self-presentation studies are more valid. 1.3. The present study Even if many studies revealed that unacquainted observers are able to rate a profile owner’s personality correctly on social networking sites, this has to date not been proven for online professional networks. Because individuals want to make a good impression in job interviews (Stevens & Kristof, 1995), one may expect that they want to make a good impression in their professional online profiles as well. So the question arises, if profiles in online professional networks are more idealized and thus less valid? For recruiters it is important to know whether or not they can trust the impression a potential candidate gives in their online professional profile. The present study investigates whether individuals present themselves authentically on professional networks or not. Our methodology is based on research that compared profile owners’ self-descriptions with observer ratings in non-professional networks (Back et al., 2010, Gosling et al., 2007, Marcus et al., 2006 and Vazire and Gosling, 2004). It uses the same methodology as Back et al. (2010): First, two forms of self-descriptions were collected from XING users, authentic and idealized ones. Then it was tested which personal characteristics independent observers attribute to the profile owners. A positive correlation between the observer ratings and the authentic self-descriptions of the profile owners would reveal that users present themselves authentically in their online profiles on XING. A positive correlation between the idealized self-descriptions and the observer ratings would reveal that users present themselves idealistically. To validate the method, the study first tested two preconditions: First, whether XING profile owners described themselves differently if they were asked to describe their idealized selves or their real selves, and second, whether their profiles transmit a coherent impression.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results To test the first precondition, whether participants described themselves differently in the authentic and idealized conditions, means and variances of both were compared. T-tests (df = 62) for paired samples were run to evaluate whether the differences between the authentic and the idealized self-descriptions of the XING profile owners were significant or not. Table 1 shows that there was a significant difference between the two self-descriptions for all dimensions except for agreeableness. As expected, the variances for the idealized self-descriptions were smaller than the variances for the authentic self-descriptions, probably because there is a common understanding of how one is expected to be. Correlations between authentic and idealized self-descriptions reached significance for the dimensions extraversion (rcorr = .38, p = .002), openness (rcorr = .32, p = .012), team orientation (rcorr = .43, p < .001), and flexibility (rcorr = .33, p = .008). Differences in means show that individuals were able to create different self-descriptions following the instructions for authentic or idealized self-descriptions, but the correlations reveal that those self-descriptions are not independent from each other. The idealized version of the self is oriented toward the authentic self. Table 1. Differences in means and variances of the authentic and the idealized self-descriptions. MDiff SDDiff t(62) p Extraversion −.74 1.02 −5.77⁎ <.001 Agreeableness −.16 1.16 −1.09 .28 Conscientiousness −.83 .93 −7.12⁎ <.001 Neuroticism 1.13 1.12 8.0⁎ <.001 Openness −.42 1.04 −3.09⁎ .003 Team orientation −.69 .89 −6.15⁎ <.001 Flexibility −.84 .74 −9.05⁎ <.001 Achievement −.4 .84 −3.82⁎ <.001 Resilience −1.28 .89 −11.4⁎ <.001 Note. MDiff = authentic self-description minus idealized self-description; t-tests (df = 62) for pared sample to evaluate whether or not the differences between means of the authentic and means of the idealized self-descriptions are meaningful. ∗ p < .005. Table options To test the second precondition, whether the XING profiles transmit a coherent impression or not, we tested the reliability of the observer ratings. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were computed for the single ratings (ICC(2, 1)) as well as for average ratings (ICC(2, k)). For all analysis, computer scientists and engineers were not treated as separate sub-groups, but as one group. To legitimize this approach, we calculated a moderation analysis. It allowed to compare answers of the computer scientists with answers of the engineers. Results allowed that the two sub-groups had the same result pattern, all |β|s < .17 and ps > .18. The results of the ICCs are shown in Table 2 for the personality characteristics, and in Table 3 for the job-relevant characteristics. The average observer ratings agreed sufficiently (Wirtz & Caspar, 2002), for extraversion, ICC = .81∗, agreeableness, ICC = .59∗, conscientiousness, ICC = .77∗, neuroticism, ICC = .48∗, and openness, ICC = .72∗, all with p < .005. They are on a similar level as the ICCs reported by Back et al. (2010). Observer ratings were consistent across subjects. Table 2. Consensus of observer ratings and correlations between observer ratings and authentic self or idealized self, for the five personality dimensions. ICC (consensus) Authentic self Idealized self r (authentic) rpartial r rpartial (idealized) Extraversion Average observer .687⁎ .353⁎ .28⁎ .275⁎ .163 Single observer .305⁎ .245 .195 .182 .099 Agreeableness Average observer .489⁎ .032 .031 .031 .03 Single observer .161⁎ .019 .018 .06 .06 Conscientiousness Average observer .628⁎ .213 .217 −.003 −.039 Single observer .252⁎ .131 .136 −.005 .027 Neuroticism Average observer .606⁎ .057 .056 .076 .076 Single observer .235⁎ .035 .025 .045 .045 Openness Average observer .724⁎ .36⁎ .332⁎ .155 .046 Single observer .344⁎ .253 .234 .108 .032 Note. Consensus of observer ratings was calculated using the intraclass correlation (ICC). Authentic self-presentation was determined by correlating observer ratings with the authentic self-descriptions of the profile owners. The effect of self-idealization was investigated by partial correlations between the idealized self-descriptions of the profile owners and observer ratings, controlling for the authentic self-descriptions. In addition, the table shows simple correlations between the idealized self-descriptions of the profile owners and observer ratings, as well as partial correlations between the authentic self-descriptions and observer ratings, controlling for idealized self-descriptions. For the single-observer scores, means of the correlations for single observers are presented. ⁎ p < .005. Table options Table 3. Consensus of observer ratings and correlations between observer ratings and authentic self or idealized self, for the four job-relevant dimensions. ICC (consensus) Authentic self Idealized self r (authentic) rpartial r rpartial (idealized) Team orientation Average observer .511⁎ .182 .171 .065 −.015 Single observer .173⁎ .1 .087 .055 .011 Flexibility Average observer .555⁎ .31⁎ .283⁎ .138 .04 Single observer .199⁎ .192 .176 .092 .02 Achievement motivation Average observer .761⁎ .177 .138 .236 .209 Single observer .389⁎ .116 .08 .185 .17 Resilience Average observer .674⁎ .255⁎ .245 .091 .055 Single observer .293⁎ .173 .137 .052 .027 Note. Consensus of observer ratings was calculated using the intraclass correlation (ICC). Authentic self-presentation was determined by correlating observer ratings with the authentic self-descriptions of the profile owners. The effect of self-idealization was investigated by partial correlations between the idealized self-descriptions of the profile owners and observer ratings, controlling for the authentic self-descriptions. In addition, the table shows simple correlations between the idealized self-descriptions of the profile owners and observer ratings, as well as partial correlations between the authentic self-descriptions and observer ratings, controlling for idealized self-descriptions. For the single-observer scores, means of the correlations for single observers are presented. ⁎ p < .005. Table options To evaluate whether the participants presented themselves authentically or idealistically on their XING profiles, correlations between the self-descriptions and the observer ratings were conducted. Partial correlations between self-descriptions and observer ratings were also conducted, controlling for the authentic or the idealized self-description at a time. The authenticity of online self-presentation was measured with correlations between observer ratings and authentic self-descriptions. The idealization of online self-presentation was measured with partial correlations between idealized self-descriptions and observer ratings, controlling for authentic self-descriptions, as the authentic and the idealized self-descriptions are correlated for some of the dimensions. Thereby the correlations between the idealized self-descriptions and the ratings were not influenced by the authentic self-descriptions, see Back et al. (2010) for a similar procedure. All correlations were calculated separately for each observer. These correlations were then averaged across all observers using Fisher’s z-transformation ( Bortz & Schuster, 2010). Furthermore, correlations between the average of the observer ratings (average observer) were calculated as well as correlations for every observer individually, using Fisher’s z-transformation. Means were calculated and transformed back using Fisher’s z-transformation (as cited in Bortz & Schuster, 2010). Tables 2 and 3 show the means of the correlations for single observer scores. Average correlations between observer ratings and self-descriptions were analyzed. The observer ratings and the authentic self-descriptions correlated significantly positively for extraversion and openness, see Table 2, as well as for flexibility and resilience, see Table 3. Online self-presentation on XING therefore seems to be authentic for these dimensions. Conversely, no partial correlation between the observer ratings and the idealized self-descriptions revealed significance. The results thus do not support the assumption that self-presentation on XING is idealized.