Blogging is therapy 2.0

At first glance, blogging might seem to be a new phenomenon. It’s hard to imagine that, prior to the Internet, there was a way to let the entire world in on your daily musings. But keeping a daily journal has a long history and, although many remain private, some journals have been published and read by an audience that could make a typical blogger envious. A study (PDF) published in Cyberpsychology & Behavior attempts to compare the psychological makeup of a blogger to a journal-keeper, but it’s not clear that the population used for the study is large enough to be informative.

The study focused on users new to MySpace, requesting that they complete a survey through a direct message. This process resulted in a study population of 134 through a 20 percent response rate that the authors “considered reasonable for random Internet recruitment in the age of spam.” The group came from Australia, the UK, and the US. A bit more than half of this population was male, and the group had a mean age of 24.5 years. Already, there appear to be a number of problems here. It’s not clear whether either these demographics or MySpace users in general are typical of the wider blogging population. The small sample size also limits the possibility of correlating any measured psychological differences with age, sex, or nation of origin—the authors wisely chose not to try. (link)

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