Have you heard of The Big Five personality dimensions? In just five traits, psychologists can summarise who you are, why you follow particular beliefs, and why you make certain decisions. These traits are Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. For each trait, we all fall somewhere on a continuum. Where we fall on these five continuums constitutes our personality.
It was only a matter of time before psychologists investigated how our actions online map onto the five dimensions of personality.
The predictive accuracy of The Big Five is unbelievable at first. The output of one short survey can determine the job that will lead you to life satisfaction, whether or not you’ll feel tired at a party, or whether you’re likely to break the speed limit whilst driving.
With social networking sites such as Facebook dominating the modern lifestyle, it was only a matter of time before psychologists investigated how our actions online map onto the five dimensions of personality. You’re more likely to post statuses about social happenings if you score high on the Extraversion dimension, and you’re more likely to procrastinate via Facebook if you score low on Conscientiousness.
At this point, however, there is an uninvestigated niche. In Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature Daniel Nettle emphasises the presence of the Neuroticism and Openness personality dimensions in creative ability. His study focuses on the painters and poets of the past but does this link between personality traits and creativity extend into the modern platforms of photography and blogging? With the help of 80 ‘suggested’ Instagrammers and a further 80 controls, I will be exploring the personality differences between creative and social Instagram users in my dissertation.
All photos taken from Ramona’s Instagram, @monalogue.
This piece was originally published for Helicon Magazine’s weekly Features column