A new study has revealed that analysis of your ‘Facebook Likes’ can be used to judge your personality more accurately than the judgment made by your friends, family, spouse or colleagues.
People use personality judgments to make day-to-day decisions and long-term plans in their personal and professional lives, such as whom to befriend, marry, trust or hire. The more accurate the judgment, the better the decision. Previous research has shown that people are fairly good at judging each others personalities; for example, even complete strangers can make valid personality judgments after watching a short video presenting a sample of behavior.
But recent developments in machine learning and statistics show that computer models are also capable of making valid personality judgments by using digital records of human behavior.
A study was done to compare the accuracy of personality judgment between computers and humans, using a sample of 86,220 volunteers who completed a 100-item personality questionnaire.
Facebook likes were used as the base for computer to make personality judgment. Likes are used by Facebook users to express positive association with online and offline objects, such as products, activities, sports, musicians, books, restaurants, or websites. Given the variety of objects, subjects, brands, and people that can be liked and the number of Facebook users, Likes represent one of the most generic kinds of digital footprint. For instance, liking a brand or a product offers a proxy for consumer preferences and purchasing behavior; music-related Likes reveal music taste; and liked web-sites allow for approximating web browsing behavior. Consequently, Like-based models offer a good proxy of what could be achieved based on a wide range of other digital footprints such as web browsing logs, web search queries, or purchase records.
The researchers found that their software was able to predict a study participant’s personality more accurately than a work colleague by analyzing just 10 likes. By 70 likes it had a better picture of someone’s character than their friends or roommates, and at just 150 likes even better than a parent or sibling – the people that you grew up with. It took 300 likes before the program was able to judge character better than a spouse though; given that an average Facebook user has about 227 likes, the researchers say this kind of artificial intelligence has the potential to know us better than our closest companions.
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