Which post will impress the most? Impression formation based on visual and textual cues in Facebook profiles

Ayellet Pelled, Tanya Zilberstein, Eran Pick, Yael Patkin, Alona Tsironlikov, Nurit Tal-Or

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The existing research presents ambivalent evidence regarding the significance of visual cues, as opposed to textual cues, in the process of impression formation. While textual information might poses a stronger effect due to its solid and unambiguous character, visual information may have a stronger effect due to its vividness and immediate absorption. This debate is particularly relevant in the context of online social networks, as they are constructed on the sharing of textual and visual elements between their users. Two consecutive online studies test the main research question: Which elements of one's Facebook profile have a more significant influence on impression formation- pictures or texts? Study 1 found that outside the context of Facebook, textual cues were more dominant in the process of impression formation. Study 2, which tested impression formation via Facebook, further corroborated this result; suggesting that the textual cues are also dominant in the context of online profiles. Moreover, these effects were influenced by individual characteristics of the participants, such as 'need for cognition', in a manner that individuals with a high need for cognition placed more emphasis on textual cues. Amount of 'likes' also influenced the impression formation, especially when the profile owner was perceived as manipulative. Additional interactions and further implication are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
EditorsAnatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson, Evelyn Ruppert, Philip Mai, Dhiraj Murthy
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450339384
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201613 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • CMC
  • Facebook
  • Need for Cognition
  • Online Social Networks Impression formation
  • Textual Primacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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