Published Mar 21, 2018As Facebook users all now know — or should know — the social media giant is in business of data mining. And while the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal has shown how that data may be used to influence elections, it's also shed light on something perhaps much more important — Smiths fans are neurotic.
Yes, based on the "likes" of users' favourite artists, we now know fans of the Smiths are likely to be the "most neurotic," while fans of Björk and/or Tom Waits are likely be the "most open." But if you like Marilyn Manson, count yourself as a person who is "least agreeable," and if you're a Gucci Mane fan, you're likely to be "most extroverted."
As a New York Times expose on now-disgraced firm Cambridge Analytica has revealed, data obtained from Facebook users has been used to build behavioural models, both now and in the past. In fact, Cambridge Analytica based its business — which is accused of harvesting data from more than 50 million Facebook users without their consent — on a 2015 study that used an app called myPersonality, a 100-question quiz that "assessed a person's openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism," the Times reports.
Cambridge Analytica "adapted its approach to personality modelling" from that 2015 study by Stanford University and Cambridge University's Psychometrics Center, the Times reports. From the study, the Psychometrics Center published those musical findings up above.
The study cross-referenced results of Facebook personality quizzes with users' "likes" to predict a user's openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism:
The Times piece reads:
One of the studies the Psychometrics Center produced, published in 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was built on the "likes" and Ocean scores of more than 70,000 respondents who took the myPersonality quiz on Facebook. It found that a person who liked the movie "Fight Club," for example, was far more likely to be open to new experiences than a person who liked "American Idol," according to a review of data provided to The Times by Michal Kosinski, an author of the 2015 study and a computer science professor at Stanford.
You can see the entire study here.
So while these simple "likes" and shows of fandom may have seemed innocent enough back in 2015, they all helped build the model that would eventually sway the presidential elections of global superpowers. Or at least allegedly.