Michal Kosinski. Creating Psychological Profiles from People's Digital Footprints

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

NOTE LOCATION CHANGE: Matrix, 8th floor of Barrows Hall

Creating Psychological Profiles From People's Digital Footprints

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 measure intimate psycho-demographic 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 traits including personality, intelligence, and political views. 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. If used ethically, it could revolutionize psychological assessment, marketing, recruitment, insurance, and many other industries. In the wrong hands, however, such methods pose significant privacy risks. In this talk, we will discuss how to reap the benefits of Big Data assessment while avoiding the pitfalls.

Dr. Kosinski is the Assistant Professor in Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He is a psychologist and data scientist. His research focuses on studying humans through the lenses of digital footprints left behind while using digital platforms and devices. Previously, Michal was the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, a researcher at Microsoft Research, and a post-doc at Stanford's Computer Science Department.

website: http://www.michalkosinski.com/