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IBM researcher can decipher your personality from looking at 200 of your tweets | VentureBeat

Posted on by Brandon Klein

An IBM researcher says she can make a good educated guess about your personality just from looking at 200 of your Twitter messages.

That may seem obvious, as people typically express their personalities through the 140-character messaging service. But Michelle Zhou, a researcher at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., can do this personality analysis in a disciplined and automated fashion using the science of data analytics. Companies that pay attention to this research could save hundreds of millions of dollars — and stop annoying people.

She used it on me, and my personality graph, as expressed in my Twitter messages, is in the image above. She evaluated my personality and broke it down into 41 different traits, out of a total of 52 that she measures. The evaluation was based on “psycholinguistics,” or analysis of my word choice.

“Computers can derive people’s traits from linguistic footprints,” Zhou said in an interview with VentureBeat. “That hasn’t been widely applicable before, because where do you get those linguistic footprints? Now, you can do that with social media and digital communications. Those are readily available, so we saw an opportunity there.”