Social networking has become a major part of lives these days. ‘Being online’ is what that is trending! We spend more time online than with our family. Does that mean a lifeless machine made up of lifeless materials knows about our personality better than ones who brought us up? Well, stats answer it as a YES!

A study submitted by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) , US concluded on the statement that computer-based judgments about personality of a person can be more accurate than those by his or her friends and family.

Nothing is believed till it’s proven with evidences. Following graphical representation very obviously shows that computer system is nearly as accurate as the spouse of the person in making personality judgments about him or her. Family and friends lag behind. Work colleagues knowing least.

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The survey was conducted on about ten thousand people asking them to fill a personality test. The personality test consisted of questions revealing five basic traits about a person i.e. extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The computer model made its judgments based on Facebook likes! This might sound a hoax to few. It was actually based on likes on Facebook pages about movies, books, TV shows, music, etc. rather than likes on statuses or photos.

“For me it’s not completely surprising, because if I went on a blind date with someone I’d never met before and they were telling me their favorite music and their favorite films, what sports they like playing, then I could make a judgment about what kind of person they are,” said David Stillwell, deputy director of Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, told Motherboard.

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“But obviously what’s different about our analysis is it’s a computer doing this analysis automatically, without having any real understanding of, what is Big Brother? It only knows what people who like Big Brother are generally like.”

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Such studies and results are expected to add to more understanding of psychological aspects. “The ability to accurately assess psychological traits and states, using digital footprints of behavior, occupies an important milestone on the path toward more social human-computer interactions,” PNAS paper concluded.

These results may also serve as the foundation of innovative tools, for example, getting an insight of someone’s personality. This could be used in suggesting career options or sorting out candidates.

So this could be a threat to ones indulged in palmistry!


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