the study that cambridge analytica based their model on has a terrifyingly accurate personality analysis for you
Use your harvested data to do a cute personality test!
Björk. Photography Santiago Felipe.
The Cambridge Analytica exposé proved that it’s possible to take all your Facebook data and use it to churn out weirdly specific information on you, like the idea that if you like ‘I hate Israel pages’ you’re more likely to like KitKats and Nike shoes. But for those of us who aren’t likely to whack the thumbs up button on a bunch of abundant hate pages, don’t worry, technology can extract your personality from your pop culture predilections too.
The New York Times recently reported on a 2015 study of Facebook by Stanford University and Cambridge University's Psychometrics Center, which analysed the ‘likes’ of over 70,000 people and used it to judge people’s character traits. Apparently, you’re more likely to be the “most open” kind of person if you’re into: Tom Waits, Björk and writing (duh). The least open people like: Cheryl Cole and The Hills. Conscientious people have a penchant for hiking, cooking, travelling, running and probably lots of other wholesome things. Non-conscientious people like much more more angsty and/or angry-associated things, like the band Bring Me the Horizon, Minecraft and Skins.
Extroverted people’s favourite people: Gucci Mane, Jersey Shore’s JWoww, DJ Pauly D and Waka Flocka Flame. Honestly, the names say it all. Not very extroverted people like manga, drawing and video games. Sur...prise? Agreeable people like The Bible and God. Not agreeable people like Marilyn Manson. Manson fans are also the “most neurotic”, next to The Smiths die-hards, while the least neurotic people like: ESPN, TV show SportsCenter athlete Derrick Rose, basketball team Miami Heat, and football. Basically, we can pin all our deep-set neuroses on the fact that we’re not hardcore sports fans.
The findings are scarily accurate, if not all that surprising. Also unnerving: that this research is reportedly what Cambridge Analytica based their model on. The initial study got people to answer questions on a Facebook app called myPersonality, and then analysed their results in correlation with their Facebook likes. The Times reports that Cambridge Analytica later approached the Cambridge University's Psychometrics Center about using their models. When they refused, they instead turned to Professor Aleksandr Kogan to develop a similar app -- thisisyourdigitallife. This is the app that harvested over 50 million people’s data, which was then utilised by the alt-right to influence people’s vote and sway the 2016 elections. So yeah, maybe be careful about what you like on Facebook. Who knows, your penchant for 90s pop powerhouse Aqua may just make you the next target of Nigel Farage's wet Fishing for Leave campaign.