Cognitive Complexity and Communicative Context: Reflection of User Intelligence in Social Media Texts

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: research fellow of the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, senior research fellow of Moscow State University of Psychology and Pedagogy
Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology
Moscow State University of Psychology and Pedagogy
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Leading Researcher
Affiliation: Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: independent researcher
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: researcher
Affiliation: Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Director of RAS Institute of Psychology
Affiliation: Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal namePsikhologicheskii zhurnal
EditionVolume 44 Issue 1

The focus of this article is the reflection of intelligence as ability in social media texts. The authors have developed a model of communicative environments according to which the manifestation of intelligence in a message depends on the communicative situation in which the information is transmitted. Thus, the cognitive complexity of texts is a consequence not only of the author's intellectual capacity, but also of his willingness and ability to adapt the complexity of messages to the characteristics of the recipient. This paper analyses data from individual social media profiles in relation to user intelligence test scores, as well as similar data obtained at a regional level. The study involved 438 subjects who took an intelligence test and provided access to their social media profiles. Facebook users were found to be, on average, more intelligent than VKontakte users, posting more posts containing text, posting less often overall. No significant differences in post characteristics were found between the two social networks. However, differences in the nature of the relationship between intelligence and cognitive complexity of messages were demonstrated for different social networks and for male and female subsamples of users. Correlations were found to be higher at the regional level compared to the individual level, higher for Facebook compared to VKontakte and higher for men compared to women. It is concluded that indicators of texts’ cognitive complexity from social media do reflect the intelligence of their authors, but the extent of this reflection depends on the characteristics of the communicative situation

Keywordsintelligence, social networks, communicative context, cognitive complexity of texts, gender differences
AcknowledgmentThe research was supported by RFBR grant no. 18-29-22095.
Publication date26.02.2023
Number of characters33487
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