What Kind of a Person Writes on Wikipedia or Blog or Medblog?


Wikipedia members tend to locate their “real me” on the Internet as compared with non-Wikipedia members. This it indicates that Wikipedia members feel more comfortable expressing themselves on the net than they do off-line. Wikipedia members scored lower on agreeableness and openness. Introverted women were more likely to be Wikipedia members as compared with extroverted women.

How was this study done?

To survey these aspects, we posted links to two online web questionnaires; one was targeted at Wikipedians and the second to non-Wikipedia users. One hundred and thirty-nine subjects participated in the study, of which 69 were active Wikipedia members.

They used the short version of the Big Five Questionnaire: the “Big Five” personality traits are five broad factors or dimensions of personality. The five factors are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
And the Real Me Questionnaire. This questionnaire is comprised of four questions focusing on the ease with which participants opened up to their Internet friends, as compared with to their offline friends.

Don’t believe it. We will need to compare these results and this group with other online communities and we need to know their motives for joining Wikipedia.

Yair Amichai–Hamburger, Naama Lamdan, Rinat Madiel, Tsahi Hayat (2008). Personality Characteristics of Wikipedia Members CyberPsychology & Behavior, 2147483647-3 DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2007.0225

What kind of person blogs?

Among female students only, those who scored highly on neuroticism (i.e. anxious, insecure characters) were more likely to blog. This is consistent with work on internet usage that also found an association with neurotic personality types, but only among women. The researchers surmised that nervous women may blog to “assuage loneliness or in an attempt to reach out and form social connections with others.”

Among both men and women, those who were more open to experience were also more likely to blog – perhaps unsurprisingly given that blogging is a relatively new phenomenon and given that this personality dimension is associated with creativity.

From a related post on this blog

What kind of person Medblogs?

Medical bloggers are highly educated and devoted blog writers, faithful to their sources and readers. Sharing practical knowledge and skills, as well as influencing the way other people think, were major motivations for blogging among our medical bloggers. Medical blogs are frequently picked up by mainstream media; thus, blogs are an important vehicle to influence medical and health policy.

From: Examining the Medical Blogosphere: An Online Survey of Medical Bloggers