Just How Accurate are Personality Tests based on your Facebook likes?



The Apply Magic Sauce Personality Prediction API. Try it for yourself: www.applymagicsauce.com (Needs Facebook Profile)

The advent of the 21st Century has been synonymous with the advent of Social Media. Virtually all aspects of our life have been affected in some form due to its meteoric adoption into society. Personality testing appears to be no exception.

In 2014, a group of researchers from The University of Cambridge created a tool that could predict aspects of your personality based on your social media habits. The reviews in popular news publications have been almost universally positive and flattering.

Having found out about this tool during the course of my studies. I decided to look into just how accurate such a prediction engine is in comparison to traditional personality tests such as the HEXACO, which you have undertaken as part of this research project.

Given my scepticism with such tools, I decided to evaluate the prediction tool by comparing my personality scores on the HEXACO with that of the prediction tool. Whilst I found it to be surprisingly more accurate than the average Facebook personality test, the prediction algorithm did differ from my ratings on traditional personality tests on numerous aspects such as my openness to experience or conscientiousness.

So is it accurate? Sadly, it is currently impossible to answer this question without analysing the tool against more than one person. However, it is safe to say with quite a bit of certainty that traditional personality testing at least currently appears to have the edge. This is because prediction tools such as these make a big assumption that the patterns of the things that we interact with on social media are free from bias or influence. Research and anyone who uses Facebook knows that such an assumption is quite a poor one to make given the influence of our friends have on the content we interact with.

However. it is worth noting that most recent research does point to the fact that social media is becoming a fast improving source of reliable information as the companies behind them compete for access to more personal data. So, in conclusion, whilst the current methods of measuring personality currently hold the edge, social media personality tools don’t seem to be far behind.

If you are interested, try the prediction API for yourself at www.applymagicsauce.com (Needs a Facebook Profile).



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