Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans, PNAS January 27, 2015. 112 (4) 1036-1040, by Wu Youyou, Michal Kosinski and David Stillwell was one of the building blocks for the development of products and services sold to clients by firms like Cambridge Analytica. The study compares the accuracy of personality judgment —- a ubiquitous and important social-cognitive activity —- between computer models and humans. Using several criteria, the authors show that computers’ judgments of people’s personalities based on their digital footprints are more accurate and valid than judgments made by their close others or acquaintances (friends, family, spouse, colleagues, etc.). The study’s findings highlight that people’s personalities can be predicted automatically and without involving human social-cognitive skills. — Joe
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