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In recent years, Facebook has become an internet phenomenon. This has resulted in widespread use and various levels of disclosure. Previous research has found that personality affects the amount and types of disclosure on users' profiles, especially the traits of extroversion (a continuum of energy from others or energy from self) and neuroticism (a continuum of anxiety and control-orientation vs. calmness and less emphasis on control). Although research is fairly extensive on these traits and their effects on Facebook, it is conflicting. In addition, Erikson'Âs theory of psychosocial development states that a person reaches specific life crises at different stages and must solve these in order to live successfully. Studies have found that level of psychosocial development affects disclosure on one's Facebook profile, but this research is scarce. This study will focus on the crises of "Âidentity vs. role confusion," in which a person must understand himself, and "intimacy vs. isolation," in which a person connects with or retracts from others. This thesis aims to find how the factors of personality and development specifically affect disclosure on Facebook profiles of undergraduate college students. Participants were students enrolled in a psychology course. They took a questionnaire regarding Facebook use, and they also filled out four validated surveys, each measuring one of the four factors of focus in this study: extroversion, neuroticism, identity, and intimacy. The results of these surveys will be compared to the "Âinformation"Â section, last "Âstatus update,"Â and profile picture of each participant. I believe that this study is important in understanding this age group and by creating a better awareness of self in order to exercise greater caution when posting information on Facebook.

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Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Melissa J. Layman-Guadalupe

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

Privacy in Public: Personality and Eriksonian Theory as Applied to College Students' Facebook Disclosure