A guy who posts a picture of himself with a bottle of wine is more likely to become friends than someone who posts, say, a photo of himself in a bathrobe with a pair of binoculars.
That’s the conclusion of a study published Tuesday in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
“It’s pretty clear that social network profiles have a big impact on how people will be liked and that the impact of those profiles is greater than you might think,” said Sarah Schoenfeld, a social psychologist at New York University and one of the paper’s co-authors.
“People want to be seen as having similar interests and similar interests often translate into being seen as being friendly.”
The research comes on the heels of a 2015 study that found that the more closely people looked at another person’s social network profile, the more likely they were to agree with their partner’s opinion of them.
“We wanted to see whether these findings were generalizable across all social networks,” said Schoenfield, who is also the lead author on a related study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“One of the interesting things about the relationship between profile size and trustworthiness is that it depends on what kind of trustworthiness you have.”
In the new study, researchers looked at data from nearly 20 million users of the social network, the largest group of online communities.
To test the hypothesis, they created a sample of users who had never met each other and compared their interactions online with those who had met them.
The results showed that the people who have been in a large group, who have high trustworthiness, were more likely than the people in smaller groups to agree that their friend was trustworthy.
The researchers also found that those who have large online profiles tend to be more trusting of others.
“What you find is that people who are in groups that are close to one another are more trusting than people who aren’t,” said Daniel Schlosser, a psychology professor at the University of Maryland and one the paper co-author.
“In the sense that they don’t think that they’re being judged and that their friends are being judged.
That they’re not being judged as being trustworthy, they’re saying, ‘I’m not trustworthy.'”
Social networking also has a big effect on how someone feels about themselves.
For example, a profile of a person’s friend can increase their liking of that person’s interests, and that can influence how they interact with friends, the researchers found.
That may explain why a person may see a friend who shares a photo and is less likely to trust him or her, said Schlossers co-researcher, Sarah Schloss.
That person is more inclined to trust someone who appears to be trustworthy.
“This kind of friendship seems to be an automatic response for people to see their friends as trustworthy,” she said.
“But there is this sense of being judged for it.”