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Popularity On Facebook Makes People Think You're Attractive

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the gaze-upon-my-socially-networked-glory dept.

Facebook 116

RichDiesal writes "In an upcoming issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, researchers conducted an experiment on the impact of the number of Facebook friends a person has on impression formation. When viewing modified Facebook profiles (all with the same profile picture and an experimentally controlled number of friends), people rated profiles with lots of Facebook friends as more physically attractive, more socially attractive, more approachable, and more extroverted. Since potential employers look at Facebook profiles these days, perhaps it's time to hire some Facebook friends."

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116 comments

Will it get me nubile girlfriends? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46394891)

I want nubile girlfriends !

Re:Will it get me nubile girlfriends? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46394973)

For that there's xhamster.com.

It's kinda like FB for porn lovers.

Re:Will it get me nubile girlfriends? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 months ago | (#46395111)

I want nubile girlfriends !

...but are you sexy enough to match her ?

And the AC typifies what's wrong with the world today

...researchers conducted an experiment on the impact of the number of Facebook friends a person has on impression formation...

I read and re-read that quoted sentence and still I came away a feeling of something is amiss.

1. What kind of "researchers" are they to carry out such useless research ?

2. What kind of "research subjects" they choose ? From the dumb and dumber category ?

Re:Will it get me nubile girlfriends? (3, Informative)

The Rizz (1319) | about 5 months ago | (#46395209)

Research on seemingly unimportant connections that have curious correlations is how breakthroughs are made. It's done to try disprove a link as often as it's done to prove it; the point is to find out for sure, one way or the other.

As for who does it, there's tons of people who want these types of research done - marketing, policing, data mining, etc. In this case, it was likely either commissioned by a company or group with vested interest in social media, or was done by a grad student for a thesis.

Re:Will it get me nubile girlfriends? (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 5 months ago | (#46395725)

I "like" you Ronald McDonald.
Yes, there are certainly some companies who pay to find out why people flock to a specific brand.

Not All Potential Employers (5, Interesting)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 5 months ago | (#46394901)

I'm a hiring manager at a tech company. We generally think that looking at a candidate's FB profile is a social faux pas. LInkedIn? Sure. Facebook? That's their business. I'm not friends with my direct reports on FB, I don't expect them to friend me, and whatever they do there is their business.

Maybe it's time to find a better class of potential employers?

Re:Not All Potential Employers (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46394955)

Are you hiring?

Re:Not All Potential Employers (1)

Alan Warrick (3422939) | about 5 months ago | (#46394959)

Sales / Marketing / Management / PR (yes definitely doesn't hurt.) Tech / Engineering / Support / STEM / * pretty much any other job where your just a resource (probably wont matter)

I'm way ahead of them (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#46395033)

They likely wouldn't find me on Facebook.

(And if they did enjoy all the contest spam posts which are among the few things shared public.)

Re:Not All Potential Employers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395149)

When I recruit people, having a Facebook profile at all is typically a negative thing. Not enough to disqualify them for a position, but they better make up for it in some other way. If the person has no social media accounts traceable to them, then it's a huge plus.

Stories like this make me think that nobody cares about security awareness. Now that even non-techies are aware that they are being spied on it is quite inexcusable for techies not to be security aware.

Re:Not All Potential Employers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395373)

Translation: I don't always sit in on interviews, but when I do, I divert the conversation to irrelevant factors outside of work.

Re:Not All Potential Employers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395665)

There is always a balance between security and usefulness. If I were to create the world's most powerful supercomputer, power it down, encase it in several million tons of concrete, and have armed military-style guards with air fighters, drones, and tanks; it would be very secure but pretty much worthless. On the other hand, if I were to instead install he most antiquated and vunerable OS I would find, hook it up to the internet, remove all firewalls, and make sure the building didn't have any locks or guards; the supercomputer could be made of use of anyone but it would not be very secure. Facebook has its valid uses. Just because some people use it for everything doesn't mean everyone who uses it does.

Re:Not All Potential Employers (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#46397099)

When I recruit people, having a Facebook profile at all is typically a negative thing. Not enough to disqualify them for a position, but they better make up for it in some other way. If the person has no social media accounts traceable to them, then it's a huge plus.

And yet, having a FB profile is generally required if you're security conscious, because you cannot control what your friends do otherwise. Don't want to be tagged? Well, unless you have a profile, you can't block it! Etc. etc. etc.

So yes, I have a FB profile. I hardly ever log into it (maybe once every couple of months when FB updates their security settings). I don't post anything on it and all I have is minimal. Hell, you can find out more about me from my LinkedIn than my FB. (I also have only 7 friends, and about 10 on the "please add me" list that I haven't decided what I wanted to do with).

Re:Not All Potential Employers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395229)

will only believe it when LinkedIn type stock falls, you cannot have both stocks growing.

Re:Not All Potential Employers (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46395867)

Maybe sociality unacceptable, but sometimes it can be useful. LinkedIn does not give its users the ability to play weed farmer, or like 50 different pages to do with using illegal drugs, or liking to Lil Wayne.

Re:Not All Potential Employers (2)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 5 months ago | (#46397011)

Why in heavens' name would I care whether or not someone I'm going to hire is playing Weed Farmer or -- let's just cut to the heart of it -- even an illegal drug user?

I've known enough people who've taken illegal drugs (pot, X, whatever) who were phenomenally good at their job that I fail to see how it's any relevant to me what they do in their off-hours. You could argue that there's a morality component (if I'm being honest I'm not crazy about hiring someone who beats their spouse non-consensually, for example) to hiring decisions, but even then, what's the morality of smoking pot? Why would I care?

So sad and pathetic (4, Insightful)

john_uy (187459) | about 5 months ago | (#46394913)

It's so sad and pathetic that the metric being used by people is amount of Facebook "friends".

Re:So sad and pathetic (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46394965)

Welcome to the real world.

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46394999)

Fuck you and the world you rode in on.

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46395003)

Don't like it? You're free to leave. Nobody's holding a gun to your head and forcing you to stay.

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 5 months ago | (#46395323)

Gravity is!

Re:So sad and pathetic (2)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 5 months ago | (#46396453)

Well, that escalated quickly...

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#46396469)

Oh, man! I don't know why this isn't modded +5 funny yet, but if I had a point you'd get it!

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 5 months ago | (#46396631)

Ha, that reminds me of Feynman's response to folks who thought QED was too complicated to be true:

"You don't like it? Tough! Go to another universe, where the rules are simpler and more philosophically pleasing!"

Or something to that effect, see the whole show here [vega.org.uk] .

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46395513)

... the real virtual world.

Re:So sad and pathetic (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#46395063)

Sad and pathetic is the proper way to explain anyone working in HR looking at Facebook profiles for hiring.

Re:So sad and pathetic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395129)

Sad and pathetic is the proper way to explain anyone working in HR looking at Facebook profiles for hiring.

What would you expect from those working in "human resources"? They are not qualified for any real productive jobs so they default to human resources. These are the same people who wet their pants drooling over celebrities. In my 20+ years of working I have only met one attractive woman who worked in human resources.

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395497)

hmmm... i have the same ratio... 1:. same one? Kristen, smoking hot...

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 5 months ago | (#46395631)

Yeah, and also anyone who describes it as "HR" instead of "personnel".

Human Resources is stupid bizspeak that makes us sound like robots or something.

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 5 months ago | (#46395841)

Human Resources is stupid bizspeak that makes us sound like robots or something.

It's called "Human Capital Management" now. "Human Resources" sounded too socialist.

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46397503)

You say that until you're working in HR and a few weeks after hiring someone you find your companies name in the paper "Local tech shop hires well known convicted murderer and local Nazi Party leader" and then links to his facebook page full of swastikas.

I think it's one thing to do basic checks or glance at some info... and another to do "due diligence"

The solution to this problem is to not use facebook or services like it if you don't want employers to judge you based on its contents.

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395117)

I dunno. Amount of Facebook "friends" seems like it would have a direct correlation to "click next syndrome" or "click yes syndrome". Could be a handy metric if I'm recommending software to someone to know just how idiot proofed the software must be to prevent them from shooting themselves in the foot by clicking next/yes at the wrong dialog.

Re:So sad and pathetic (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46395131)

It's so sad and pathetic that the metric being used by people is amount of "friends".

FTFY. It likely has nothing at all to do with Facebook specifically.

"Number of friends" is probably a very useful metric when it comes to determining how useful it would be to have someone as a friend.

That we now can gauge this using a website instead of real-world interaction, and are living in apartments instead of mud huts, makes little difference.

So, no, it's not "sad and pathetic" at all. It's an instict, and like all instincts it can be gamed.

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395509)

Yes, it is sad and pathetic, considering how fake the online world is. I suppose next you're going to tell me that I should do all my shopping on Amazon, because after all, their consumer rating system is highly accurate and 100% truthful, with no chance of people being hired to full that space with utter bullshit, right?

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 5 months ago | (#46395217)

On the contrary, I consider someone with 500 facebook friends and who is always online in facebook as superficial and without interests. If you have the time to spend 6 hours a day on facebook, I assume there's not much else going on in your life.

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395303)

It depends on the position and situation. Having a million friends on Facebook at least shows that the applicant has connections to the mainstream, the people associated with it, and is likely the type who can handle their own in a social environment. Whether you believe any of that or not is up to you, but in any event, it is just 1 metric--nobody said that it's *THE* metric.

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 5 months ago | (#46395429)

It depends on the position and situation. Having a million friends on Facebook at least shows that the applicant has connections to the mainstream, the people associated with it, and is likely the type who can handle their own in a social environment. Whether you believe any of that or not is up to you, but in any event, it is just 1 metric--nobody said that it's *THE* metric.

Or it shows that the applicant is the sort who will blindly accept a friend request from people they don't know. If you've got over 1000 "friends" on facebook, you aren't an extrovert, you're a security risk...

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 5 months ago | (#46395681)

Wouldn't that depend on how they use Facebook?

Re:So sad and pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395421)

This isn't really different from how it works in real life.

When I was in college I was skinny and out of shape (as in, I was just skinny), dressed like your typical dirty stoner and spent an amazing amount of time running from one social event to another. I had tons of friends and everyone I met seemed to want to be my friend. And yes, I was quite popular with the girls.

Now I'm in my early 30s, I have a solid career, I dress quite well, I exercise regularly and overall I'm a much more well put together person. However, due to the realities of growing up I don't have as much free time to just go around being social (and I live in a regular apartment, not a dorm room right on campus so if I want to meet people I no longer have thousands of potential friends within a mile of home). My social life these days feels like a wasteland compared to my college days (don't get me wrong, I still have friends and I do date, it's just that these days I make as many new friends in a year as I made in a month back then).

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

john_uy (187459) | about 5 months ago | (#46396769)

I have learned just recently that all you need is one true friend to be there. :)

Re:So sad and pathetic (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 5 months ago | (#46395843)

It's so sad and pathetic that the metric being used by people is amount of Facebook "friends".

You mean as opposed to believing people are prettier and more interesting in real life because of all their 'real' "friends."?

no Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46394917)

Not having a Facebook page is even better. Then you will also avoid making Facebook more powerfull.
Of course it brings the risk of looking like an introvert nerd, but that's what I am anyway :)

Re:no Facebook (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46394961)

Quite the opposite, some months ago people looked at me oddly when I said I have no FB account, now they just nod sagely and mutter something about "prolly better...".

FB is the new cigarettes, I'd say. It used to be cool, but now everyone who started when it was cool wishes they hadn't.

Re:no Facebook (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 5 months ago | (#46395043)

How long before there's a patch?

I'll ... I'll show myself out...

Re:no Facebook (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46395361)

...or some sort of electronic substitute?

Re:no Facebook (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#46396481)

Maybe it can be replaced with vapor(ware)

Re:no Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395045)

I have a friend who has gone through a sort of endless circle of creating a facebook account, getting bored/fed up/anxious and deleting his account. He's done this 5 times now.

He tells me never again, every time.

Re:no Facebook (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46395383)

I have a friend who has gone through a sort of endless circle of creating a facebook account, getting bored/fed up/anxious and deleting his account

Have you told him that Facebook doesn't really delete anything. Ever. They just hide it from public view.

Also that by creating/deleting accounts he's revealing even more about himself than just not using it. By leaving an account idle you let them know that Facebook isn't your thing (ergo, you're not the sort who responds to adverts!) By deleting/creating/deleting you let them know you're an obsessive compulsive who needs brain-meds.

Or not. (4, Informative)

Cenan (1892902) | about 5 months ago | (#46394939)

If you're using public FB data to determine if a prospective employee is a good fit, you're getting what you deserve: only idiots have a publicly accessible timeline. A properly managed FB profile will only give you a picture and if you're lucky an email address, something you could have gotten by just asking for it.

On a side note, that "study" in the article hardly sounds robust.

Six months later, the researchers got in touch with their guinea pigs’ employers to ask about their job performances. Unfortunately, of the over 500 guinea pigs, just 56 of the employers responded. So the sample is small, but the researchers found a strong correlation between those employers’ reviews and the employability predictions they had made based on folks’ profile pages.

Congratulations, your ~10% response rate allows you to draw wildly speculative conclusions. The second study has similar problems, trying to insinuate a correlation between their performed IQ tests, FB profile data and eventual student transcripts. Bullshit.

Re:Or not. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46394967)

Actually, a properly set up FB account tells a boss everything he should know. From the employee's perspective, of course.

You try to spy on me, be prepared to see what you're supposed to see. I feel by no means obligated to tell you the truth, after all, you could have asked and I would have told you. You decided you wanted information from some third party about me, so don't come complaining to me when that information is false.

Re:Or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46394971)

If you're using public FB data to determine if a prospective employee is a good fit, you're getting what you deserve: only idiots have a publicly accessible timeline. A properly managed FB profile will only give you a picture and if you're lucky an email address, something you could have gotten by just asking for it.

On a side note, that "study" in the article hardly sounds robust.

Six months later, the researchers got in touch with their guinea pigs’ employers to ask about their job performances. Unfortunately, of the over 500 guinea pigs, just 56 of the employers responded. So the sample is small, but the researchers found a strong correlation between those employers’ reviews and the employability predictions they had made based on folks’ profile pages.

Congratulations, your ~10% response rate allows you to draw wildly speculative conclusions. The second study has similar problems, trying to insinuate a correlation between their performed IQ tests, FB profile data and eventual student transcripts. Bullshit.

I've got something like 20 Facebook friends, I must be uglier than the Elephant man.

Re:Or not. (1)

eggstasy (458692) | about 5 months ago | (#46395019)

I have a publicly accessible timeline (you do know that privacy settings are per-post, right?), where I post things like inspirational quotes, and write about the value of hard work, and things that I believe a prospective employer might be interested in. I do post stuff as "friends-only" and designate some people as "acquaintances". In general, on or off the internet, I do not traffic in subjectivity. I have better things to do than pontificate about politics or the controversy du jour. Idle coffee shop philosophizing is for those without the trained mind of a scientist. The truth is knowable, stop speculating and look it up :)
I have been contacted by prospective employers via Facebook, actually. The highest-paid job I ever had was from an old Facebook friend who started his own business.

Re:Or not. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46395137)

Sorry, you're clearly not cynical enough and therefore, as GP has asserted, an idiot.

Re:Or not. (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 5 months ago | (#46395941)

Nobody uses a facebook profile to determine if a prospective employee is a good fit - they are instead looking to determine if the prospective employee is a bad fit. With so many candidates for every position, there is an increasing need to disqualify people, and facebook is an excellent place to find dirt on them. If a capital offence can be found in six lines written by the most honest of men, anyone with an active facebook profile is entirely worthless.

Re:Or not. (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46396055)

And let me guess, you are over 30?

But either way there is a huge gender gap in the privacy issue (see Don't take it personally, babe, it just ain't your story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org] ). A lot of young people just do not have anything to hide. Either they understand that anything written online is ultimately completely public, and censor accordingly, or they do not censor, and are OK with anyone and everyone knowing what they wrote. I have said some controversial things in my time online, but I have no interest in hiding any of them from anyone, I will stand by my statements, or at least admit to at one time saying them. All while still understanding and believing in basic rights to privacy. Sometimes people need privacy, I have never felt this need personally (other than being glad that the government does not watch me go to the bathroom and that is is still possible to break the law if it does not hurt anyone else).

facebook ? (0)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 5 months ago | (#46394945)

Facebook Can Tell You If A Person Is Worth Hiring

You are NOT worth hiring BECAUSE you are on facebook. Period.

Superficial stuff (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#46394949)

Facebook is a stressful place to be. It encourages to care about all sorts of psychopathic bullshit like this. Who has most friends, who has most action-packed photos, who makes the wittiest status updates, who collects the Likes.

Re: Superficial stuff (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | about 5 months ago | (#46394991)

Well, if you're hiring for a social media Jon.... Sure, those are indicators of your possible performance.

Re: Superficial stuff (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#46396509)

Well, if you're hiring for a social media Jon

Is this some kind of a play on words to indicate doing this makes you a whore looking for "jons"? If so, nice job. If it was just a typo, forget I said anything.

Re:Superficial stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395477)

There's nothing "psychopathic" about standard teenage social behaviour. Which group of people cuts themselves, and guns down their classmates? It ain't the cheerleaders.

Re:Superficial stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395793)

So just like the real world then.

Ah, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (3, Interesting)

korbulon (2792438) | about 5 months ago | (#46394981)

That bastion of scientific progress and beacon of enlightenment.

Trash "research" like this is one of the big reasons I had to leave academia. Shelves and shelves lined with tomes of pabulum. So much drivel, you wouldn't believe. And I'm not referring to abstruse areas of investigation, but rather all the ad-hoc, pseudoscientific articles and journals which pollute scientific libraries and are the inevitable answer to the prime commandment of academic life: "publish or perish.".

Re:Ah, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communicat (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46395173)

So what? There's a lot of drek out there, fortunately it's easy to ignore what you don't care about. Like if I were to go to a bookstore, 90% of the books would hold no interest to me, and I will likely ever read .1% of the books. That doesn't mean I give up on books.

Re:Ah, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communicat (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 5 months ago | (#46395291)

Yeah but neither do these books ever get mentioned on the front page of Slashdot.

I originally meant my rant to be a poke at Slashot, but instead got carried away by something else entirely (yet again). It's not that there's so much dross, it's that people sometimes thrust it in your face and present it as something of worth.

Re:Ah, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communicat (1)

Marginal Coward (3557951) | about 5 months ago | (#46395369)

Trash "research" like this is one of the big reasons I had to leave academia...And I'm not referring to abstruse areas of investigation

And I bet they even use abstruse words like "abstruse".

Re:Ah, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communicat (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46396609)

It's actually a quite decent journal. If you have concrete claims for your sarcastic remarks, please share them, but I am unaware of any evidence that the journal is not, largely, a good and honest scientific publication.

money makes you sexy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46394997)

Remember guys, women are sexually attracted to money. Fill your wallet.

Re:money makes you sexy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395197)

This is the whole reason all the credit card companies made the "gold" card a thing back in the 90's. A "gold" card meant you had at least a $5,000 limit at the time.

Eventually they forgot why they did it, dropped the $5K limit requirement, and just charged a huge annual fee for the color. Once that happened, they fell out of favor because women knew the guy with the wallet full of gold cards could just be a poser.

After running through the same wash/rinse cycle with Platinum cards and that subsequent race to the bottom, they just stopped the whole "special" card thing altogether.

Now, these "special" cards are more rare, require far higher financial metrics to obtain, and come with ENORMOUS annual fees. So, only the truly wealthy can get them.

Re:money makes you sexy (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#46395415)

If the only reason she's there is your money then you're doing it wrong.

Spend it on hookers until you find The One. It's far cheaper. And more fun.

Remember: Women are sneaky and knowing when she's The One is difficult (doubly so when you've got money).

And when does he work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395005)

The person with most friends in Facebook for sure doesnt have time for unimportant things like WORK. So hiring those its a shoot on the foot (unless the company blocks facebook).

Re: And when does he work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395159)

That would be painfully hypocritical of the company, to use Facebook as a recruiting tool on the one hand, yet ban access to it from the corporate network on the other.

Re: And when does he work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46396743)

You want examples of such companies? Go to Europe and pic any major one. I even know companies that put videos on their channel and ask employees to view and like... AT HOME. yes.. that sad

then I must be the ugliest person on facebook (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 months ago | (#46395181)

because i started an account on facebook about 5 years ago, looked around for a few minutes and realized what crap it really is and abandoned it. have not been back on there since, i dont even remember the username and password i had

Re:then I must be the ugliest person on facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46396705)

Why did you feel that it was crap?

Hilarious! Did Facebook Commission The Study? (1)

cb123 (1530513) | about 5 months ago | (#46395279)

Since, ya' know, more users = more $$$ for them. ;-)

Probably True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395309)

In the middle of everyone trashing the study I have to say I think it is probably true. The perception of popularity is attractive. Also men surrounded by attractive women appear more attractive.

I can even see why this would be from an evolutionary biology perspective. Fraid thats how it is fellow nerds......I don't have many facebook friends or pictures of myself surrounded by wild party animals, but if I did people who saw my profile on facebook would think I was more attractive. I don't like that thought but I try not to let what I like or dislike affect my judgement of what is true or not.

Studies have shown... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395349)

That women find men physically more attractive in per-portion to their believed net-worth. The reverse is not the case(quick search should find said refs, been in a few documentaries). I wonder if this popularity factor is in the womans eyes only as well(related perhaps).

Correlation is not Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395351)

Although, according to TFA, the profiles used in the survey were well-constructed dummy accounts, it helps to keep in mind that a person who is more socially adept, extroverted, and attractive would be more likely to meet more people and make more friends. Thus, they would have many Facebook friends as a result. Consequently, when someone sees a Facebook account that has an image of an attractive person, and when they also see that this person has numerous friends, I argue that, somewhere along the line, it occurs to them that this person must be socially adept, outgoing, and approachable; otherwise, why would they have so many friends -- if Facebook "friends" can be called such.

I'm calling bullshit on the assertion that it's the profile and number of friends that make the person attractive, considering that they explicitly say that, when selecting a profile picture for the socially adept profile, they chose images "drawn from a database of photographs with known attractiveness". So, these people are attractive purely by their appearance alone, not based upon whatever bogus friend could they have. Also, I'm put off by how TFA used a graph whose y-axis didn't start at 1 for the figure. They acknowledge it in the article, true, but if you were someone who, say, glanced at the headline and then scrolled down to find a compact, summarizing diagram, you might get the wrong impression thanks to that graph.

Re:Correlation is not Causation (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46395637)

they chose images "drawn from a database of photographs with known attractiveness". So, these people are attractive purely by their appearance alone

Of known attractiveness != known to be [highly] attractive. Comprehension fail.

Re:Correlation is not Causation (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46397167)

yep, the 'known attractiveness' thing stuck in m craw too

I just want to add that *this is SOP in research across all disciplines*

The standards for what constitutes scientific research are just obliterated at this point...what happened to success being defined by getting good accurate data that tests the hypothesis? Is it that 'science' is a part of pop culture now? Is it the influence of pseudo-science?

There's valuable research to be done in this area. Testing the difference in perception to an online profile (and what conclusions people draw) vs an interpersonal interaction (and those conclusions)

Also, one last tidbit, from real research I found on this topic...when it comes to sex, random hook ups consistently occur mostly often between two people who share a larger social group that interacts often. The idea is that a person who has alot of friends will be more easily held accountable for any misdeeds because you **both know the same people**

So, having a social circle helps, but not at all in the ways this study tests...

Let me correct that heading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46395397)

Popularity On Facebook Makes non-computer users Think You're Attractive

Being a misantrhope is hard. (3, Interesting)

Holammer (1217422) | about 5 months ago | (#46395475)

I have a *very* rare name/surname combination, so I'm easy to find, or at least I would be if I had a Facebook account, which I don't.
So I've had two employers ask me why they can't find anything about me on Google/Facebook, one of them even asked me straight up if I had served time in prison. So I'm not surprised by the findings, at all.

Maybe not . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 5 months ago | (#46395507)

"perhaps it's time to hire some Facebook friends."

I hope that companies who use Facebook profiles as part of their candidate selection process would disclose this practice to the general public. That information would have a substantial negative impact on my view of any company I would consider applying to. Any time an organization takes its eye of the ball by hiring based on Facebook crap instead of individual skill and talent, it's hard to imagine that they'll be around long or won't suffer severe layoffs from mismangement in the near term. There should be a law requiring companies to disclose that information.

Re:Maybe not . . . (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 5 months ago | (#46395749)

Maybe a new service industry will arise: adjust your public-accessible timeline for a fee. Keeping all the stuff that portrays you as a hard-working person who values work more than anything in his life with quotes like: "there's no greater satisfaction than meeting the deadline" etc.

Re:Maybe not . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 5 months ago | (#46396103)

Or maybe just set up a fake profile that shows you in a positive light. No friends, no real information, just a dumb virtual business card to fool the foolish. I wish I were joking.

2 words (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 months ago | (#46395531)

Cheerleader effect [scientificamerican.com] . If well you don't see your friends in a photo with you, the basic principle is similar, we find attractive any mean to take part of a community.

Sheeple following sheeple (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 months ago | (#46395639)

Why is this even a surprise? When you look at celebrities all over, I mean really look at them, you will quickly realize they aren't terribly different from all the people around you and frankly, some are exceptionally ugly. So what makes them special? Marketing.

And the fact that people fall for it so often no longer amazes me. People are mostly sheeple and will even angrily and violently defend their sheeple ways. (Observe as I get modded troll)

The psychology behind all of this is well documented. This isn't some sort of arrogant speculation on my part. Brand names and flags and sports teams and 'taking sides' of all sorts are the ways sheeple behave. Look to who is guiding the sheeple and how they benefit to see why and how the sheeple are being exploited.

In any case, I hope people increasingly wake up to their own human natures. We can't hope to overcome them unless we are aware of them. We make laws to help limit what people can do to each other where the classics (you know, don't steal, don't kill, don't assault, don't exploiter (practice usury) and all that) are timeless inventions which are literally the basis for civilization and are keenly focused on countering the worst aspects of human nature; human nature which is simultaneously kind and cruel, generous and greedy, loving and hating. We haven't actually managed to overcome human nature so much as we manage to limit it. But it all first happens with acknowledgement.

Lately, we all seem to be denying our natures and this is largely why we seem to be having much more trouble in recent years than I have noted in decades prior.

Popularity is forgery in RL too (1)

hessian (467078) | about 5 months ago | (#46395659)

A person who is popular is perceived to be smart, successful and attractive.

It's like popularity is a "way around" the old fashioned way of being smart, successful and attractive, which actually required you to be smart, successful and attractive.

It's no surprise then that our leaders are morons, our experts are fools and our culture is hogwash. But it's popular, so we pretend not to notice the obvious.

Superficiality Well (1)

Kevoco (64263) | about 5 months ago | (#46395985)

Like a cosmic entity that increases in mass, the more it gathers, the more it attracts.

So Facebook is just like High School (2)

atouk (1336461) | about 5 months ago | (#46396089)

You can't like him, I Liked him first.
or
Nobody else Liked him, so I won't Like him either.

Now I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46396163)

why all the radio amateurs I know have a Facebook profile.

What? (2)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 5 months ago | (#46396277)

What's all this facebook stuff I keep hearing about?
I stick my face in books all the time..
I love to read..

Darned! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46396839)

As a meganerd, reading all about this just makes me upset and feel like an unsuccessful loser.

backwards logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46396867)

Or maybe... just maybe, it's that you have more facebook friends because you are attractive.

population bias (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46397059)

I like this research area alot...it's my research area...but something about this whole thing bothered me...

from a database of photographs with known attractiveness to a photo of moderate attractiveness

...right...a 'database of photos with known attractiveness' is well...wtf is that? a group of poor souls who's mugshots from a study in 2005 have been recycled over and over, rated by bored broke undergrads

the thing that kills me though, is the number of 'friends' they assigned in the various iterations

'unpopular' people had 100 friends

now, no one has 100 friends on facebook unless they are over the age of 40 or intentionally keeps their friend list low...it guarantees an 'unattractive' rating but not in way that supports the hypothesis

the point is, the lower bound limit for 'unpopular' is much too low...in the real world the figure should be more around 200

Friend lists and 'attractiveness' are not nearly this simple & quantifiable. You can test this stuff, but it takes more than what these researcherse did. this is sort of like if the 'photos of known attractiveness' had 50% male 50% female, but the 50% female were drawn from the college sports teams & the males drawn from the Computer Science dept...it would statistically be 'even' but the data would be skewed because of the original population

Yes... (sqore, 300,000: Attractive) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46397147)

Yes, but I am attractive...

Did Shallow Hal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46397247)

...just get shallower??? I think sooo...

Wow (1)

Creepy (93888) | about 5 months ago | (#46397257)

My wife has thousands of friends, I only have hundreds... I guess I know who the attractive one is now.

Funny thing is, the real reason I limit my friends is because I can't keep up with Facebook as it is, and my wife spends about 4 hours a day on it. If I included just first cousins and their kids alone I'd have over 200 due to the very prolific Catholics on my dad's side (my aunt knocked out 13 and her kids are trying to catch up).

shutupp! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#46397355)

Tom thinks I'm hot.

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