Disclosing personal information online; links between extraversion, neuroticism, self-monitoring, narcissism and online privacy awareness

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Tobin, Bryan
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this study was to explore the correlation between online privacy awareness and the four psychological constructs of extraversion, neuroticism, self-monitoring and narcissism. Snowball sampling was used to recruit 84 Facebook users over 18 years of age (F=52 M=32). Each participant filled out an anonymous questionnaire with scales for the four constructs in scope and a number of stand-alone questions related to their privacy settings in Facebook. Statistical analysis found a moderate negative correlation between neuroticism and privacy awareness. However no other statistically significant correlations were found. Cross-sectional analysis was performed between participants grouped by their choice of privacy setting and extraversion. No significant difference was found. Overall participants had a high level of privacy awareness and a low level of confidence in the privacy protection offered. More research is needed to explore how privacy awareness can translate into to pro-privacy behaviour.