Facebook ‘likes’ prove to be more accurate gauge of personality than friends

By John Glenday | Reporter

January 13, 2015 | 1 min read

Researchers at Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre have found that Facebook ‘likes’ can determine a person’s personality more accurately than their own friends in a new study.

A specially coded algorithm created by the researchers trawled the social media interactions of volunteers and used this information to form a picture of the person’s character.

Surprisingly this method was found to more accurately gauge personality than a work colleague even when as few as ten ‘likes’ were analysed. When this figure was increased to 70 ‘likes’ it could outperform a friend or roommate and 150 were needed to match a parent or sibling.

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With 300 ‘likes’ fed into the machine it was capable of outperforming a spouse.

Report author Youyou Wu remarked: “In the future, computers could be able to infer our psychological traits and react accordingly, leading to the emergence of emotionally-intelligent and socially skilled machines.”


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