Identity Claims on Facebook

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study was to identify the type of information that people try to find in one’s Facebook profile. In addition, the study also tested the validity of the personal ratings posted on a Facebook page.

Target population

The target population consisted of 104 undergraduate students from a public university in Northeast. Out of these, four participants had no Facebook accounts while one failed to corporate with the researchers. Addition population was expected from the friends of the participants.

Accessible population

The final population of the study consisted of 99 students. Among these 79 were males with an average age of 19.72 years old. The second group was composed of 42 females with a mean age of 19.65 years old. In addition, the students were requested to bring a friend in exchange for extra credit in the course. Therefore, the final report of the study contained 66 friend reports on the participants. The mean friendship duration was calculated to be 4.01.

Sample of the study

The sample of this study was 104 students from a Public University in the Northeast. An account was created and the participants were invited.

Sampling techniques

The sampling technique used in the study was nonprobability purposive sampling. This is because the participants were invited through a newly created Facebook account. The Facebook walls of the participants were saved a number of times during the three weeks the study was carried out. The researchers chose all the participants. Additionally, the random probability sampling was used to sample results.

Study findings

The results identified that the probability of exaggeration on a Facebook page was less than 0.05. That of self-exaggeration was observed to be 0.01 while the probability as a result of friend exaggeration was 0.001. The frankness in the Facebook was not measured. The exaggeration was observed to decrease on increased socializing. For instance, the exaggeration was observed to have a probability of less than 0.1 on self-rated while that of friends was less than 0.05 after socializing. Negative attitude was rated against expression of emotions, joking content and interactions. However, this was not observed on each day. The academic content rated on the information page differed to that on the wall page of a participant. The big five personality analysis gave these results.

Generalization of the Findings

The results can be generalized to those, who use Facebook pages to judge the owner. The material about someone on the page is not entirely true. The researchers noted that employers and colleagues always browse the Facebook page of others to gather information on them. This is not a reliable source of information. However, different sections on the Facebook page contain different information about the user. While the wall page shows behavior, the information page shows only the information that the user choses to share with friends.

Limitations of the sampling technique

The purposive sampling technique used has some limitations. For instance, it is highly prone to bias among the observers or judges. The second limitation of the technique used is that the participants knew that the Facebook walls and information pages were under observation; therefore, they could have provided false information or exaggerated their information to make it look attractive to the researchers. Lastly, the technique has a potential for inaccuracy. The probabilities provided only depended on the analysis of the researcher.