Who blogs? Personality predictors of blogging

Below are some excerpts and thoughts brought by an interesting article from the journal Computers in Human Behavior:

The Big Five personality inventory measures personality based on 5 key traits:

1. neuroticism
2. extraversion
3. agreeableness
4. openness to experience
5. conscientiousness

The major 5 personality factors are abbreviated in the acronyms OCEAN or CANOE:

- Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
- Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. extravagant/careless)
- Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
- Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/callous)
- Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. resilient/confident)

Individual differences on the Big Five factors may be associated with different types of Internet usage, for example, a prolific daily blogger versus a lurker (a person who reads discussions on a message board, blog, chat room, or other interactive system, but rarely participates).

The study authors from the Department of Psychology, University of Alabama examined whether the different Big Five traits predicted blogging.

According to the 2 studies they did, people who are high in openness to new experience (both men and women) and high in neuroticism (women) are likely to be bloggers.

Women who are high in neuroticism are more likely to be bloggers as compared to those low in neuroticism. There was no such difference for men.

Disclaimer: I cannot be certain about the validity and reproducibility of the study results and can only speak from personal experience. However, since none of my friends and colleagues describes me as "neurotic," and I enjoy blogging, the study results may apply to my (clinical) case. In the light of the study findings, should I add "openness to new experience" to my CV then?

Steve Rubel's reply to a comment about his "workaholism" still brings a smile to my face:

"A blogger notices from my lifestream that I love my job, which I do! Downside? It’s the Clinical Cases blog!"


Who blogs? Personality predictors of blogging. Rosanna E. Guadagno, Bradley M. Okdiea and Cassie A. Enoa. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 24, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 1993-2004.
Image source: Chicago, Illinois. Hit the Road Blog.
Link via The Happy Hospitalist.

Related reading:

Personality Characteristics of Wikipedia Members: Introvert. Amichai-Hamburger Y, Lamdan N, Madiel R, Hayat T. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2008 Oct 28.
As A Busy Physician, Why Do I Even Bother Blogging? http://goo.gl/fSF3 - Excellent summary.
Why blog? Notes from Dr. RW. A perfectly reasonable list. All doctors should consider blogging. It's do-it-yourself CME.
Facebook profiles predict job success - the researchers used the same Big Five personality traits: conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion, openness


  1. I added to this on my blog: http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2008/09/dont-tell-woody-allen.html

  2. OMG - who's been watching me? LOL!

    I am all of those things! I am so neurotic about my penmanship, I have rewritten entire nursing notes because I had to cross something out.

    I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry!

  3. It's kind of logical that this kind of person would be a blogger :D
    entj intj

  4. I'm don't tend to the neurotic ...1 teenager of mine would disagree, rest of family ... in laws and extended family included would not consider me neurotic.
    I'm NOT an introvert, which is why blogging appeals to me, I can write and communicate and not ever have to make eye contact or carry on a conversation where nerves are sure to fail me.
    I tend to be on the agreeable and flexible side (which may actually be why so few see me as neurotic, I'm easy to get along with)

    I do like to experience life and new expeirneces in within safe parameters .home fits safety pretty well.

    I am thoughtful and conscienscious.

  5. And the most important thing: Don't take this too seriously, OK... :)

  6. I blog to help others for educational purposes. I use some of my blogs to share with patients such as the Medical Weight Loss Program and Low Glycemic Food List to send home with them for reinforcement of the instructions given to them in the office. Also, I write blogs related to hormonal problems in life which is a huge impact on both men and women of all ages. These blogs are shared with patients and other health care providers to help them understand circumstances interrupting their sexual lives. Lastly, I write for fitness and bodybuilding. I am a competitive bodybuilder and I have shared these with other athletes, health care providers and the public who just want to start a program.
    I find blogging beneficial for sharing information amongst professionals and educational for the public.
    In your top five personality traits above, I do fit in but I don't feel the neurotic need to have to blog. In fact, days to weeks will go by before I write another blog.
    Nancy Onyett, FNP-C, Owner
    Pyramid Preventative Medicine
    Phoenix, Arizona