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The Psychology of Personal Web Sites

The Psychology of Personal Web Sites
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Author(s): Karl-Heinz Renner (Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, Germany) and Astrid Schütz (Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 16
Source title: Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sigrid Kelsey (Louisiana State University, USA) and Kirk St.Amant (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch021

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Abstract

This chapter reviews psychological research on personal Web sites, on their owners and on the effects personal Web sites may have on visitors. Personal Web sites were conceptualized as media for self-presentation and identity construction. Converging evidence is reported with regard to the elements found on Web sites and to the demographics, personality characteristics, intentions and self-presentational goals of their owners. The popular and somewhat intuitive notion that Web sites are narcissistic media or platforms for vanity and exhibitionism does not apply to the average Web site owner. Empirical findings on personality expressions of Web site owners and personality impressions people form after a brief visit of the sites are presented. Initial results show that objective features of personal Web sites are associated with self and visitor-rated personality traits of the owners. It is concluded that more longitudinal research is needed to fully understand the dynamics of identity management on personal Web sites.

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