Thursday, July 2, 2009

Your e-mail address 'can reveal your personality'

Think twice before you pick an email address -- it can reveal your personality.

Researchers at the University of Leipzig in Germany have carried out a study and found that an email address may speak volumes about the character of the person who created the unique online identification.

According to lead researcher Mitja Back, even the thinnest slice of communication via the world wide web - the mere e-mail address -- contains valid information about the personality of its owner.

In their study, the researchers asked a panel of 100 students to guess the personalities of 600 young adults simply by looking at their e-mail addresses.

The panel's guesses agreed mostly with a personality survey the teenagers had completed when it came to qualities like openness, conscientiousness and narcissism, and diverged most on the trait of extroversion.

Addresses that gave away personality often contained full stops, numbers or a name that was obviously not genuine, the researchers found.

Level of accuracy was explained using lens model analyses -- the students made broad use of perceivable e-mail address features in their personality judgements, features were slightly valid and the observers were sensitive to subtle differences in validity between cues.

The study has been published in the latest edition of the Journal of Research in Personality.

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