Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: Experimental evidence of observed social media status cues on perceived likability.

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Recent research addresses social media's increasing importance to relationships and its influence on individual perceptions of self. However, understanding of the value outside observers place on social media status cues (i.e., followers, likes, etc.) in evaluating the perceived likability of others is currently underexplored. Using the theoretical lenses of social exchange and social information processing, we developed a conjoint experiment relating observers' expected likability of social media users with variance in a social media user's (1) number of followers and "likes", (2) physical attractiveness, (3) and the percentage of "selfies" (self-portraits) posted. Data collected from 72 participants and 873 generated observations provided results consistent with our theory that those with more followers and "likes" have higher perceived likability. In addition, this perception was further enhanced by physical attractiveness, but diminished by the percentage of "selfies" posted. Of additional interest, we also found that likability differed by gender, age, and the amount of time spent on social media. Implications for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)