Put Your Best Face Forward: Facebook Deemed an Accurate Personality Test for Employers

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Want to analyze your employees’ personalities? Skip the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and head straight to Facebook.

A new study conducted at the University of Maryland found that Facebook profiles can reveal almost everything an employer might want to know about an applicant’s personality within 10% accuracy of a standard personality test.

The researchers surveyed about 300 Facebook users for information that is readily available on the social networking site, including favorite activities, movies, television shows, music, books and political stance, as well as the “About Me” and “blurb” sections. They then asked each user to take a personality test that measured the “big five” behavioral traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

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What they found was that people who tested as extroverts had more friends on the social site, but sparse networks — meaning that their friends were less likely to know each other. The study also showed that women are more conscientious, agreeable and neurotic than men. No surprise there.

So why are these types of studies even conducted? According to researcher Jennifer Golbeck, revealing a person’s personality is important to determine how well they’ll get along with others – whether at work or in life.

“If we can better understand people’s relationships with one another, who they will trust online, potentially we can understand who they should interact with,” Golbeck told Discovery News.

Is this some big revelation? Not really. However, this does remind us to do something very important: Keep our Facebook profiles private. (via Discovery News)

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