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Predicting Psychology from Social Media Data

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An increasing proportion of our lives is mediated through digital devices. Such data records our decisions, preferences and associations, and so is psychologically very meaningful. Using the myPersonality.org database of 6 million users’ responses to a personality questionnaire, we use machine learning methods to predict intimate traits like personality and IQ from Facebook Likes and status updates. In some instances, personality predictions from social media are more valid than self-report; the computer knows you better than you know yourself. We apply psychological predictions to real-life marketing studies, and also show from a record of bank transactions that people are happier when they buy products and services that match their psychology.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Wednesday Seminars series.

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