“Liking” and being “liked”: How are personality traits and demographics associated with giving and receiving “likes” on Facebook?

Cheng Hong, Zifei Fay Chen, Cong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


On social media, users can express their favorable attitudes toward messages that others post by clicking the “like” button. In return, they may also receive “likes” from others for their own posts. This study aims to examine the “liking” behavior on social media by using the theoretical framework of gift giving and impression management. Specifically, the study investigates if and how different personality traits (i.e., self-esteem, empathy, interpersonal generosity, and public self-consciousness) and demographic characteristics (i.e., gender, age, and education) are associated with one's frequencies of giving and receiving “likes” on Facebook. A survey was conducted with 421 Facebook users in the United States. The study results revealed that frequency of giving “likes” was positively associated with both interpersonal generosity and public self-consciousness, but frequency of receiving “likes” was not significantly related to the examined personality traits. Age and gender were significantly associated with frequencies of both giving and receiving “likes.” Educational background was negatively associated with giving “likes.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-299
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017



  • Demographics
  • Facebook likes
  • Gift giving
  • Impression management
  • Online self-presentation
  • Personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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