Abstract

Is it possible to judge someone accurately from their online activity? The internet provides vast opportunities for individuals to present themselves in different ways, from simple self-enhancement to malicious identity fraud. We often rely on our internet-based judgments of others to make decisions, such as who to socialise with, date or employ. Recently, personality perception researchers have turned to studying social media and digital devices in order to ask whether a person’s digital traces can reveal aspects of their identity. Simultaneously, advances in ‘big data’ analytics have demonstrated that computer algorithms can predict an individual’s traits from their digital traces. In this article, we address three questions: 1) What do we currently know about human- and computer-based personality assessments? 2) How accurate are these assessments? and 3) Where are these fields heading? We discuss trends in the current findings, methodological approaches and recommend directions for future research.
LanguageEnglish
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Early online date25 Feb 2019
DOIs
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2019

Cite this

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title = "Human and computer personality prediction from digital footprints",
abstract = "Is it possible to judge someone accurately from their online activity? The internet provides vast opportunities for individuals to present themselves in different ways, from simple self-enhancement to malicious identity fraud. We often rely on our internet-based judgments of others to make decisions, such as who to socialise with, date or employ. Recently, personality perception researchers have turned to studying social media and digital devices in order to ask whether a person’s digital traces can reveal aspects of their identity. Simultaneously, advances in ‘big data’ analytics have demonstrated that computer algorithms can predict an individual’s traits from their digital traces. In this article, we address three questions: 1) What do we currently know about human- and computer-based personality assessments? 2) How accurate are these assessments? and 3) Where are these fields heading? We discuss trends in the current findings, methodological approaches and recommend directions for future research.",
author = "Joanne Hinds and Adam Joinson",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "25",
doi = "10.1177/0963721419827849",
language = "English",
journal = "Current Directions in Psychological Science",
issn = "0963-7214",
publisher = "Sage Publications",

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AB - Is it possible to judge someone accurately from their online activity? The internet provides vast opportunities for individuals to present themselves in different ways, from simple self-enhancement to malicious identity fraud. We often rely on our internet-based judgments of others to make decisions, such as who to socialise with, date or employ. Recently, personality perception researchers have turned to studying social media and digital devices in order to ask whether a person’s digital traces can reveal aspects of their identity. Simultaneously, advances in ‘big data’ analytics have demonstrated that computer algorithms can predict an individual’s traits from their digital traces. In this article, we address three questions: 1) What do we currently know about human- and computer-based personality assessments? 2) How accurate are these assessments? and 3) Where are these fields heading? We discuss trends in the current findings, methodological approaches and recommend directions for future research.

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