Bright thinkers more likely to tweet: study

Findings show people with a higher cognitive ability use Twitter over LinkedIn

Within the social media realm, one would guess that smart professionals will be more accustomed and fluent in using LinkedIn. Well, it could potentially be proven wrong.

While LinkedIn is a well-known professional networking tool, a recent survey from psychometric testing company, Onetest, uncovered that people with a higher cognitive ability prefer to use Twitter over LinkedIn.

The survey explored the life outcomes of 2851 graduates from around Australia between 2002 and 2011, as part of a graduate recruitment program.

According to Onetest head of psychology, Cherie Curtis, the company has been exploring the outcomes of people who had entered the workforce and investigated the influence of their cognitive ability on life satisfaction, salary and career progression.

“Because social media is such a huge part of people’s identities and lives, we added questions about their social media preference and usage. We found that, while LinkedIn is often thought to be the tool of professionals, those who preferred Twitter were also those with the highest cognitive abilities,” she said.

The Onetest study found that Facebook was the most preferred social medium, followed by LinkedIn, but there was no statistically significant difference between the average cognitive abilities of users other than Twitterers.

Within the sample of graduates, Onetest found that only four per cent of respondents listed Twitter as their preferred social media channel. “However, these respondents had a higher average cognitive ability than other participants in the study who preferred LinkedIn,” Curtis said.

She claimed some of the characteristics of Twitter, such as its immediacy and pace, could explain its appeal to bright thinkers.

“To really engage with Twitter requires lateral thinking and attention. It’s an ever changing, information sharing platform and does require a greater degree of attention, concentration and the ability to retain, organise and apply information. “And to drill down a complex thought into 140 characters or fewer requires problem solving skills and clarity of thought,” Curtis added.

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