Big Five and Big data

Psychologist Michal Kosinski (Standford University, prevously Cambridge University) developed a method to analyze the people in detail, based on their Facebook activities. A similar tool helped Donald Trump to take power in the White House?

Psychometrics, sometimes called psykografi, is all about the measurement of psychological traits, such as personallity traits. In the 80 's developed two psychologist team a model for assessment of personality. The Big FIve are based on the five personality traits, 

  • Openness - how open are you for new experiences?
  • Systematicnes - where are you perfectionist?
  • Extroversion- where extrovert and social are you?
  • Conscientousness - how considerate and cooperative are you?
  • Neuroticism - how irritable, impulsive or depressive are you?

On the basis of these factors, which constitutes with the English abbreviation OCEAN (openness, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientousness, neuroticism), one can make relatively accurate assessments of what kind of person you're dealing with. Among other things, with regard to their needs, what they are afraid of, and how they are likely to behave.

The Big Five has become a standard in psychometrics. The biggest problem with it, however, has been the collection of data, when it was depending on that one filled out a long, complicated and very intimate questionnaire.

Then came the Internet. And Facebook. And Kosinski.

You may read the rest of the article in Das Magazine (December 2016). The article is available in Norwegian here. The picure is made by Marco Vaglieri / NRK.