Facebook usage helps predict user’s traits

fb01WASHINGTON: In a latest study, conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, it has been revealed that the language used in posts and statuses on social media site Facebook can help provide insight into user’s age, gender, personality and other traits.

The study analyzed Facebook status updates of 75,000 people, who voluntarily participated in the research, for the overall linguistic patterns in the language used.

The analysis of posts allowed the researchers to predict the individual’s age, gender and their responses based on the personality questionnaires they took.

Researcher and co-author Margaret Kern said that the study looked at the ‘open vocabulary approach’, in which psychologists might pick a list of words to predict one’s state of mind and the related traits to one’s personality.

The researchers used the differential language analysis (DLA) data, to isolate the words and phrases that clustered around the various characteristics self-reported in the volunteers’ questionnaires: age, gender and scores for the ” Big Five” personality traits, which are extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness.

Researcher Johannes Eichstaedt said that it may seem obvious that a super extraverted person would talk a lot about parties, but these word clouds provide an unprecedented window into the psychological world of people with a given trait.