Computers Judge Personality Better Than People Do


Judging another’s personality seems like one of the most uniquely human of skills. Machines can’t tell whether someone is kind, or creative, or convivial, right? Well, new research shows that a simple algorithm adding up your Facebook Likes can actually assess your soul better than your soulmate can. It may even beat you at predicting your own behavior. If you’re concerned about privacy (or Skynet), your ears should perk up.

For the new paper, researchers collected information on 86,220 participants, including the Facebook profiles of 70,520. Subjects completed a 100-item personality test, on which they rated their openness to experience, conscientiousness (self-discipline), extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Many also asked a friend or two to rate their personality using a 10-item version. For computer-based assessments, a program collected all of the Likes that users had given products, bands, teams, websites, and other stuff on Facebook. Analyzing a subsample of participants, the software associated certain Likes with certain traits, and used these associations to predict the traits of target participants based on their Likes. Michal Kosinski of Stanford University and Wu Youyou and David Stillwell of the University of Cambridge published their results online today in Proceedings of the National Academy —> Read More Here


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