Guillory, J., & Hancock, J.T. (2016). Effects of Network Connections on Deception and Halo Effects in Linkedin. The Psychology of Social Networking Vol.1.
On social networking websites (SNS) there is a general goal to convey desirable self-presentations, which can be achieved in many ways, from lying about qualifications in one’s Linkedin profile to posting flattering Facebook profile photos. In this chapter we use two experiments to explore the pervasive influence that our social relationships have on how we construct our self-presentations and how others form perceptions of our self-presentations in SNS. In the first experiment, participants’ deception was compared across three self-presentational resume settings: a traditional resume, private Linkedin profile, or publicly available Linkedin profile. Findings suggest that the public nature of Linkedin resume claims affected the kinds of deception used, such that public Linkedin resumes were less deceptive about the kinds of information that count most to employers, namely an applicant’s prior work experience and responsibilities, but were more deceptive about interests and hobbies. In a second experiment, we explore how halo effects, defined as global impressions about an individual formed using a single characteristic (e.g., physical attractiveness), can extend beyond the individual and become “extended halo effects” (EHEs). In SNS, EHE predicts that tie strength and status will affect global impression formation of the individual. Participants in a second study evaluated online Linkedin profiles, which manipulated the strength and status of a tie to a recommender. Impressions were positively biased in the presence of strong, high-status ties, despite actual job experience, supporting EHE.