Tuesday, February 7, 2017
A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information, are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities can be easily recorded, offering an unprecedented opportunity to study and assess psychological traits using actual―rather than self-reported―behavior. Our research shows that digital records of behavior, such as samples of text, Tweets, Facebook Likes, or web-browsing logs, can be used to accurately measure a wide range of psychological traits. Such Big Data assessment has a number of advantages: it does not require participants’ active involvement; it can be easily and inexpensively applied to large populations; and it is relatively immune to cheating or misrepresentation. Essentially, if the ethical and methodological challenges could be overcome, Big Data has the potential to revolutionize psychological assessment, marketing, recruitment, insurance and many other industries.