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Facebook Likes Predict Select Personality Traits

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Computer programs predict select personality traits through assessing Facebook “likes,” according to University Studies.

The researchers claim computer-based personality assessments involving five broad categories–degree of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism–are more accurate than those made by humans.

It’s a fascinating study, but consider these points:

1. The studies are based on subjects completing a subjective personality test. Everyone knows you’re on your best behavior while taking self-tests. Also, it’s a given that some Facebook users will unthinkingly expose intimate clues about their lives through their “likes,” but many avoid this trap.

2. The study doesn’t consider that many Facebook users are concerned about privacy concerns, do selective “liking,” and avoid impulsive “liking.” Thus, you get a Facebook account that is similar to the face you show in public; the private personality, the real personality, remains hidden.

3. The computer models catch only a very limited number of red flag personality traits.

The computer models do hold great value for advertisers, considering this quote from the Wall Street Journal about the studies: “Using the data from Facebook, it could predict a person’s race with 95% accuracy and gender with 93%. The model also accurately predicted sexual, religious and political orientation; intelligence; the likelihood of substance abuse; and personality according to the profiles from the five-category test.”

The bold title of the study, “Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans,” is believable only considering the humans involved in the studies (friends and family of the subjects) are amateurs, untrained in reading personality.

In my view, three main ways exist to get consistently high accuracy rates in determining red flag personality traits: in-person psychologist assessments; private investigations/conventional security investigations; and unconventional security investigations, including the ones I offer. I recommend all three to reduce your overall risk as much as possible.

Copyright © 2020 Scott Petullo

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