Are gender differences in the Big Five the same on social media as offline?

Cameron J. Bunker, Shea E. Saysavanh, Virginia S.Y. Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Past research has found notable gender differences in the Big Five personality and that these differences may arise from cultural and ecological contexts. Social media has become part of everyday life with people constantly switching between social media and offline contexts. The present research addressed whether gender differences in the Big Five are the same between offline and social media contexts and potential explanations behind these gender differences between contexts. Across two samples of college students (total N = 943), women reported higher levels of all the Big Five personality traits than men in both contexts, except there were no significant gender differences in offline extraversion. Gender differences in extraversion and agreeableness were more pronounced on social media compared to offline. Gender differences in neuroticism were less pronounced on social media compared to offline. The findings further suggested that the amount of time spent on social media, the number of connections on social media, and public self-consciousness may serve as potential explanations for why these gender differences in personality were not the same between the two contexts. The findings from this research inform how advances in digital technology transform gender differences across contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100085
JournalComputers in Human Behavior Reports
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Big five
  • Context
  • Gender differences
  • Personality
  • Social media
  • Social networking sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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