New research study predicts personality types based on Facebook Likes
Cages are being rattled by a new study out of Cambridge University looking into the preferences of 58,000 Facebook users, all of whom agreed to cooperate in the research. Using only their chosen “Likes,” applying algorithms and statistical models, researchers were able to predict their subjects’ personalities, sexual orientation, age, IQ, political views and so much more.
Some people find that idea kind of frightening. Jeff Chester, Executive Director for The Center for Digital Democracy, sees it as one more Big Brother intrusion into the private lives of citizens. “The study,” he said, “offers a frightening glimpse into what Facebook and other online companies can do today in terms of developing powerful dossiers about our behaviors, fears and concerns.”
But the study’s author, Dr. Michal Kosinski, sees its applications as far more benign, and in fact helpful. He suggests that it will become a very useful tool for both job seekers and employers, helping individuals better understand their underlying skills, and providing employers with more information than they could glean from an interview.
For now, it all just seems like a novelty. The study found that the best predictors for high intelligence were those Facebook users who “Liked” thunderstorms, science, The Colbert Report, and curly fries.