Have you ever scrolled through Facebook and judged a person based on their status? Well, we all have. I was just being nice by asking. Anyway, more often than not we look at what they’ve written more to infer what they actually mean than the literal status itself. And as much as we’d like to believe that, that’s a gift unique to us, I hate to break it to you, it’s not.
We, humans, are constantly judging and perceiving the world around us – real or virtual (or imaginary) and Facebook is no different. It acts as a mini world that reflects the bigger world. And while you and I were busy judging friends and foes alike, scientists were busy gauging our personalities from our statuses! See? This is why big minds discuss ideas and not judge people.
The Thought Process
Language is definitely a peek into one’s personality. For a while now, scientists have been trying to utilize and measure language used on social media in order to understand people and their processes a little better. This study, Automatic Personality Assessment Through Social Media Language got scientists from UPenn, and Cambridge excited about figuring out a way to automatically assess personality via social media based on language use.
What They Did
A lot of things. But to sum it up – they had 66,000 participants fill our personality questionnaires. The scientists evaluated these participant’s Facebook statuses between 2007 to 2012. The scientists then built a predictive model of personality based on the language used. They then used this model to try to predict the personalities of 4,824 other Facebook users. The model is called the Language based Assessment (LBA).
What They Found
The model, Language Based Assessment, did indeed provide valid personality measures!
What This Means for US
This means that in a few short years, we may be able to predict mental health disorders by the language one uses. We may also be able to create an algorithm that can assess language and personality traits such as honesty, perseverance, dedication and maybe able to streamline college admissions and job applications. I know it’s a little far-fetched, but it’s definitely better than giving the SATs and GRE.
Pro tip – Before you rejoice just yet, introspect and see what your statuses say about you and more importantly, about your well being.try to avoid being pressured into portraying a perfect life. You have nothing to prove to the world. You have to just live your life, your way.
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