Facebook ‘likes’ can predict someone’s personality

New research has claimed that the status updates, products, pages and photographs which users ‘like’ on Facebook can give a sound insight into their personality.

 

Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that such information as religion, politics, race and sexual orientation can be accurately gleaned simply by looking at likes alone, businesspost.ie reports.

The study saw some 58,000 volunteers provide their Facebook likes and demographic information. This was then cross-referenced with the results of psychometric tests which are designed to identify an individual’s personality.

All of this data was then processed by an algorithm which found it could predict people’s personality with surprising accuracy using only Facebook likes.

The result could prove positive for marketers who may also be able to utilize sample likes in their social media strategy to ensure content is targeted and relevant.

Where male sexuality was concerned, the algorithm was correct 88 percent of the time. When it came to defining Caucasians from African-Americans it got the right result 95 percent of the time. It could also define between right and left-wing political leaning 85 percent of the time.

Meanwhile, Christians and Muslims were correctly identified 82 percent of the time whilst relationship status – looking at likes alone and not the status bar – was accurate in 65 percent of cases. It could even identify potential substance abusers with an accuracy of 73 percent.

The study also threw up a few odd results, as research author David Stillwell told bbc.co.uk: “Curly fries correlated to high intelligence and people who liked the Dark Knight tended to have fewer Facebook friends.”