Pretty much everyone is on Facebook today and odds are you are one of the masses who use the social network. Another thing that’s common on the social network is clicking like on various things that interest you on the network. Those Likes apparently give way more about you and your personality than anyone may have imagined.
A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge say that by using publicly available Facebook Likes alone they can get surprisingly accurate estimates of things such as the user’s race, age, IQ, sexuality, personality, substance use, and political views. The research team analyzed the data set of over 58,000 US Facebook users who volunteered their Likes information.
The volunteers also offered up demographic profiles and psychometric testing results using the myPersonality application. The researchers then fed the Like information into specially designed algorithms and cross-checked the results with information from the profiles and personality tests gathered. Using this method, the researchers were able to create statistical models that could predict personal details using the information from Likes alone.
According to the researchers, the system they developed was 88% accurate for determining male sexuality, 95% accurate in determining African-American from Caucasian, and 85% accurate in differentiating Republican from Democrat. The system was also able to classify whether a person was a Christian or Muslim 82% of the time. Interestingly, the system was able to detect substance abuse about 73% of the time.