What your email address says about you

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What your email address says about you

  1. 1. Personal Branding Ref: 0041What your email address says about youOctober, 2008Psychologists at the University of Leipzig have found people make consistent andaccurate judgments on others’ personalities based on their email addresses.Researchers Mitja back, Stefan Schmukle and Boris Eglo discovered that test subjects inferred information fromemail addresses about the owners’ neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness and narcissism witha high level of accuracy. However, the researchers found test subjects’ judgments’ about email address owners’extraversion were much less accurate.Their paper, ‘How extraverted is honey.bunny77@hotmail.de? Inferring personality from email addresses’ waspublished in February this year in the Journal of Research in Personality.The researchers asked 100 test subjects to make judgments about the personalities of the owners of 599 emailaddresses. They then compared these results with personality tests the email address owners had filled in.The giveaway signs, according to the research, were the presence of dots or numbers in the address, the emailprovider and whether the person uses his or her real name or a made-up name.Email addresses with dots in then were rated as conscientious, while those with lots of numbers were consideredmore extraverted and narcissistic. Test subjects also judges those with creative, salacious or self-enhancing made-up email names as extraverted and narcissistic.“In sum, we are able to show that the email addresses we use can influence the impressions we make on otherpeople,” the paper concluded. “Moreover – and even more interestingly – these impressions contain a kernel oftruth for five of six personality dimensions. In light of the extreme narrowness of information and the complexprocesses involved in making accurate judgments’, the mere existence of (this) level of accuracy in personalityjudgments’ based on email addresses is remarkable.”The conclusion for Nett readers? Using bigboy1974@hotmail.com for business correspondences is probably notgoing to impress customers as much as an address like your.name@youcompany.com.au Page 1 of 1 For further information on this article and the coaching programs available please contact: Image Group International Asia Pacific Head Office Tel: (+61 3) 9820 4449 E: info@imagegroup.com.au W: www.imagegroup.com.au ©2010

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