Stanford University and the University of Cambridge have made a study called “Computer-Based Personality Judgments Are More Accurate Than Those Made by Humans” that brings upfront the fact that someone’s personality can be defined better and more exactly by checking the “likes” given by that certain person on Facebook. The pages, the quotes, the pictures, the movies, the books – everything represents us and exemplifies our response to the outer world. In fact, the information that family and friends can provide about someone can be different and rather poor, in comparison with a stranger that checks and profoundly studies that same someone’s Facebook.
The information was quite shocking to the leaders of the study, because they wanted to prove that computers can be as accurate as humans, but the result was somehow opposite and not in the positive way. 85 000 people participated voluntarily at the study. All their likes and statuses were followed by Michal Kosinski’s computer, who is a co-author in the study and a Standford postdoctoral fellow. Separately, the friends and family received questioners and the results have been compared.
More than 10 likes can predict an opinion or direction of a subject, in comparison with, for example, a co-worker. 70 likes won the battle over a close friend and 150 likes showed that a family member, has remained behind with the news about their close one. Unfortunately, a spouse did worse than a parent or sibling, because 100 likes were enough to tear their opinions apart.
In addition, the research proved that social networking can develop, change and influence someone’s personality, but this one on one, computer to person check is the first one that has been made until now and succeeded in predicting personality issues. Mr Michal Kosinski advices friends and family to get more involved in the life of their loved ones, read their blogs, check out their interests and communicate more.
“I would say that as humans, we are amazing at judging personalities. What is striking is that computers can beat us at our own game using a simple model and big data. I would advise parents to check out what videos your kids are watching and the blogs they’re reading to stay relevant. That will help you understand the things they’re interested in.”
A Facebook application called myPersonality was the main tool in conceiving the project and for obtaining data for it. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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