JUL 17, 2020 2:39 PM PDT

How Digital Data Can Determine Your Behavior

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Digital data is the product of our technological uses. Simply opening your smartphone and googling something personal can push the phone to recommend ads related to your search.  The phenomena made social scientists curious to see how the vulnerability of generated digital data can offer some insight into personality traits and social behavior. 

Learn more about digital data: 

 

To provide some answers to their curiosity, researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich (LMU) conducted a project referred to as ‘PhoneStudy’. They aimed to answer if conventional data collected by smartphones actually provides insight onto the user's behavior and social aspects. The answer? "Yes, automated analysis of these data does allow us to draw conclusions about the personalities of users, at least for most of the major dimensions of personality," says Clemens Stachl, who used to work with Markus Bühner (Chair of Psychological Methodologies and Diagnostics at LMU). 

Findings were published in the journal PNAS. 

"By far the most difficult part of the project was the pre-processing of the huge amount of data collected and the training of the predictive algorithms," says Stachl. "In fact, in order to perform the necessary calculations, we had to resort to the cluster of high-performance computers at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Garching (LRZ)." 

Source: Science Daily  

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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