- 25 Sep 08, 08:22 GMT
Don't shoot the messenger here, but if you have a Facebook account then the chances are it signifies you are a narcissist.
That's the view of a couple of people from the University of Georgia. Laura Buffardi is a doctoral student in phsychology and W. Keith Campbell is an associate professor there.
The two decided to look at Facebook because of its amazing popularity. It boasts around a 100 million users and is the number one social networking site among students. Also it has a fixed format so it made it easier for the researchers to compare user pages.
So how did they come up with the conclusion that Facebookers are attention seekers who just want to be liked? Well they gave personality questionnaires to nearly 130 Facebook users, not a great research base given the number of people who have signed up to the site I would suggest.
The researchers analysed the content of the pages of these 130 users and then had untrained strangers view the pages and give their impression of the owner's narcissism.
The results showed that the number of Facebook friends and wallposts that people have on their pages correleates with narcissism. Here's the kicker. Ms Buffardi said this is consistent with how narcissists behave in the real world with numerous yet shallow relationships. Ouch!
Narcissists, she said, are also more likely to choose glamorous, self-promoting pictures for their main profile pages while others are more likely to use snapshots. Hey what's wrong with looking good for your public?
Untrained observers spotted the "if I was chocolate I would eat myself" kind of person by looking at the number of social interatcions, attractiveness of the individual and the degree of self promotion in the main photo.
The researchers said these novices came up with the same conclusions.
"Narcissists are using Facebook the same way they use their other relationships - for self promotion with the emphasis on quantity over quality," said Professor Campbell.
Okay fess up time. I have a Facebook account. I have 123 friends. And my picture shows the back of my head. My best view!
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites