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Posting about your gym session reveals this unseemly personality trait

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"Just set a new PB for my 5k, feeling #quick"

"Benched my body weight - aching in a good way"

"All about the #gains this weekend"

We've all seen it. The humble gym brag. The fitness post dripping in digital perspiration - oft accompanied by a similarly moist selfie.

In addition to eliciting tuts from the greater part of your following, it turns out this habit is associated with a deeply unfortunate personality trait: narcissism.

Psychologists at Brunel University surveyed 555 (a good solid number that) on their personality traits and "motives that influence the topics they choose to write about in their status updates". 

They discovered - or rather, confirmed - that those individuals classified as narcissists will use Facebook to frequently share their diet and exercise routines, "suggesting that they use Facebook to broadcast the effort they put into their physical appearance".

Bizarrely, these posts typically receive more "likes" and comments, reinforcing their own attention-craving behaviour.

"It might come as little surprise that Facebook status updates reflect people's personality traits," writes psychology lecturer Dr Tara Marshall. "However, it is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook because their updates may be differentially rewarded with 'likes' and comments. People who receive more likes and comments tend to experience the benefits of social inclusion, whereas those who receive none feel ostracised."

Those with a penchant for such bragging might be filling themselves with empty praise though.

"Although our results suggest that narcissists' bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays. Greater awareness of how one's status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain."

So, how about putting out your own survey? Ask your Facebook friends "What do you enjoy hearing about my life? Which of my posts do you enjoy the most? Comments and pointers appreciated", and follow their guidance accordingly.

It'll probably be "cat videos". Everyone loves cat videos.

[Via: ScienceDaily]

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