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Your personality revealed by what you “like” on FACEBOOK!

March 18, 2013

A new study from the Psychometric Centre in the University of Cambridge suggests that “liking” things with Facebook really  gives away  a lot of information about yourself.  David Stillwell  developed a tool (which you can access at ““) in which he took people’s Facebook Likes and put them together with the results from their IQ and Personality teats to see if they could predict their personality. like

The introverted/extraverted personality

A presenter on the radio program “The Naked Scientists”  tried out the tool. She found that her personality type from Facebook “likes” was categorised as liberal and artistic, well organised, assertive and competitive. She agreed with that. But it also defined her as emotional and rather shy and reserved.  Another presenter, David, found the program had described him relatively well… had got the artistic angle on him  but also that he was quite introverted. That is quite a subtle thing to pick up. Others were found to be conservative and traditional personalities but also shy and reserved. Some were assessed as calm and relaxed.

Openness, IQ, sexuality and ethnicity
How accurate are predictions of people’s personality  from their Facebook likes? For “openness” for example as a personality trait, the  prediction is 80% as good as a personality test itself! That is pretty amazing when you consider that no questions have been asked and it is completely based on the data on Facebook….
For IQ , predictions from Facebook are about half as good as an IQ test. The team at Cambridge also predicted some other things such as sexuality and ethnicity. They could predict which is which 88% of the time for sexuality and 95% of the time for ethnicity.
So what are you telling Facebook about yourself as you tick “like” on the web? Is it only an image that you want to present? Probably not. The time factor for  the Facebook “likes” amasses data that builds up over years and makes it likely that it will be fairly representative and also difficult to fake.

What are companies like Facebook doing with our data?
In relation to advertisements it could use the Facebook information to limit products to three of four that could be of real interest.
More sinister are findings like being introverted. If an employer is looking for someone who works well in teams you just might not be interviewed…..

The tool doesn’t work for me as I have  never “LIKED” anything apparently….wrong generation!

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