Instead of gazing through foggy crystal balls, fondling palm lines, dealing Tarot cards and opening third eyes, several researchers from the University of Cambridge and Microsoft has found a way to deduce your personality and past.
With astonishing precision, the joint team from Microsoft and the University of Cambridge has been able to perceive the gender, sexual preference, age, race, political attachment and more based only on a certain person’s Facebook Likes. Distinguishing Democrats from Republicans, homosexuals from heterosexuals, as well as African Americans from Caucasian Americans are all predicted with an accuracy of 85-95%. Those are remarkable statistics given that the only information that is processed are Facebook Likes. The paper, which you can read here, also offers several interesting graphs and comparisons between the traits and personalities that they measured.
While the previous qualities were revealed with high accuracy, some other traits were found to be linked with certain Facebook likes though the precision is somewhat lower. Intelligence, satisfaction with life, substance use, relationship status, and even if the users’ parents got a divorce were all lifted just from studying Facebook likes.
While it may sound absurd, some of the statistics are actually no-brainers. For example, a man who is interested in other men is associated as a marker for homosexuality. That is stringed along with other Likes such as Wicked the musical and the No H8 campaign, an advocacy for equal marriage. Similarly, liking the Bible, the Pope, Jesus Christ, and Christian music are shoo-ins for being Christian.
In the case of telling whether a person’s parents had stayed together until he or she turned 21, things get more interesting. The research found that a child whose parents have divorced are more likely to like statements about relationship statuses such as “If I’m with you then I’m with you I don’t want anybody else”.
Another remarkable thing about the survey is the surge in public interest again about privacy after the research results went public. With findings such as this, people are struck with foreboding as they learn that their Likes and Shares in Facebook are as capable of telling their secrets and histories as ably as parents or diaries can.