Rants In Our Pants

Wikipedians Disagree That They’re Disagreeable

Psychologists have concluded that Wikipedia contributors are egocentric and disagreeable. Should it be any surprise, then, that the Wikipedians disagree?

By (@jr_raphael)

July 9, 2009

Wikipedian StudySome stories just make you smile, and this is one of them: A group of Wikipedians — you know, the people who regularly write or edit stories on Wikipedia — is disagreeing with a study that says they’re disagreeable. You couldn’t write a better punchline if you tried.

The study, a psychological profiling conducted by Israeli researchers, surveyed several dozen Wikipedia contributors. What it found doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture: The users, the good docs say, tend to be socially awkward, egocentric, and generally disagreeable.

As if right on cue, a group of Wikipedians from Australia came forward this week to contest those findings. You know, to disagree. Awkwardly. While reaffirming their own worth.

Brilliant.

The study had some other amusing findings, too, including the fact that Wikipedia contributors — self-charged with sharing knowledge and new ideas — seem closed to new ideas. Their efforts, the researchers say, appear to be more motivated by egocentric qualities than by any altruistic drives to inform.

(Or misinform — whichever the case may be.)

Subsequent studies may focus on the psychological conditions of tech writers, a group believed to be among the most unstable and disturbed of all Internet citizens.






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