A study by the new scientist has found out that our profile pictures maybe saying a lot more about our personalities than we intended to.
Here are their findings:
People who scored high in conscientiousness tended to show themselves on their own rather than in groups. They also expressed positive emotions in their pictures. Those who scored high on openness preferred artistic photos. Neurotic people tended strongly not to have their face visible at all.
“These are images that people consider representative of their online persona,” says Preoţiuc-Pietro.
“This is a really good first step towards analysing pictures for personality,” says Jennifer Golbeck at the University of Maryland.
Of course personality testing isn’t such a simple matter.
“This approach on its own is not that accurate,” says David Stillwell at the University of Cambridge. “Profile picture analysis is not going to replace personality testing quite yet.”
However, combining the results of this study with analysis other forms of social media data such as the text in tweets and status updates, or a record of things that a person has liked, might give “a very accurate perception” of what someone is like, he says.
Some time ago a machine learning algorithm learned to predict personality traits from Facebook likes. Let’s see what the next five years brings.
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