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Are We Our Virtual Selves?

Cognitive Daily asks whether a person's online persona matches up to their real-world personality? No doubt, for marketers and everyone else, it's increasingly important to know how well the digital world represents the real world. In writer David Munger's own experience, "People I meet online are generally quite recognizable when I finally get together with them at a conference or physical meeting."

Supporting his hunch, new research does find significant correlations between the behavior of volunteers in person and online. "Liking" in person and online were moderately correlated, as were verbal disclosure and online disclosure. Non-verbal expressivity was also correlated with online expressivity. The relationship wasn't perfect, however. While online expressivity was strongly correlated with online "liking," there was no significant correlation between online expressivity and liking in person. The conclusion? "A Facebook page really can say a lot about what a person is like in real life--up to a point."

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