The May 18, 2011 edition of ACM TechNews:
Facebook Can Serve as Personality Test
ABC News (05/13/11) Eric Niller
Facebook pages can provide personality profiles for prospective employees, according to professor Jennifer Golbeck and colleagues at the University of Maryland, who surveyed the public profiles of nearly 300 Facebook users for information about their favorite activities, TV shows, movies, music, books, quotes, and membership in political or other organizations. They also examined the About Me and blurb sections, then had the users take a test that measured the big five personality traits of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Golbeck says you can get to within 10 percent of a person’s personality score by studying Facebook. “Lots of organizations make their employees take personality tests,” she says. “If you can guess someone’s personality pretty well on the Web you don’t need them to take the test.” The study was funded in part by the Army Research Laboratory, which is interested in how teams of individuals get along to accomplish tasks on the battlefield. Golbeck’s next project will be to compare Twitter posts for information on personality.