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Wednesday, July 13 • 15:31 - 17:00
Which Post Will Impress the Most? Impression Formation Based on Visual and Textual Cues in Facebook Profiles

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Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
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  • Ayellet Pelled, University of Wisconsin, United States
  • Tanya Zilberstein, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
  • Alona Tsironlikov, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Eran Pick, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Yael Parkin, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Nurit Tal-Or, University of Haifa, Israel

The existing research presents ambivalent evidence regarding the significance of visual cues, as opposed to textual cues, in the process of impression formation. While textual information might have a stronger effect due to its solid and unambiguous character, visual information may have a stronger effect due to its vividness and immediate absorption. This debate is particularly relevant in the context of online social networks, as they are constituted on the sharing of textual and visual elements between their users. 

We conducted two consecutive studies to test our main research question: Which elements of one’s Facebook profile have a more significant influence on impression formation- pictures or texts? The first study found that when presented outside the context of Facebook, textual cues were more dominant in the process of impression formation. The second study, which tested impression formation via Facebook, further corroborated this result, suggesting that the textual cues are also dominant in the context of online profiles. Moreover, these effects were influenced by individual characteristics of the participants, such as Need for Cognition, in a manner that individuals with a high need for cognition placed more emphasis on textual cues. Furthermore, other elements that construct the online profile, such as amount of 'likes', also effected the impression formed, especially if the profile owner was perceived as manipulative.  

Wednesday July 13, 2016 15:31 - 17:00 UTC
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2