20:26 03rd Dec, 2013
Facebook Can Tell If You Are A Psychopath: Study
No, it can't cure you, but you can mask it anyway!
Leave it to the scientists to come up with weird theories, and journos to come out with scandalous headlines. (Click here and here for some scandalous stories of our own.) Swedish researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg and Lund University picked up 300 Americans of Facebook status updates (seriously, that is your sample crowd!?). Now, the original report suggests: "Your Facebook status updates can reveal whether or not you have psychopathic personality traits, who have analysed [sic] entries on the popular social media site to uncover users' personality characteristics".
However, it later clarifies that the researchers only looked for "personality traits, including extrovert, narcissistic, psychopathic, or neurotic", via a survey questionnaire. After this, the "test subjects" gave over "a selection of Facebook status updates" which were analysed for keywords, using a specially developed algorithm.
While it shows whether the (bragging) subject is an extrovert, narcissistic, psychopathic, or neurotic, it leaves out vital information about the "five broad personality traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism".
"The status analysis could indicate which Facebook users demonstrated psychopathic and narcissistic personality traits in the personality tests", Danilo García, a researcher at the Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health at Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a statement.
The study dubbed as the Dark Side of Facebook has been published in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences.
Before you think half your FB friends are psychopaths and not the drama queens that they really come across as, hold on to your horses. They probably are just that. García adds, "Even if you show psychopathic personality traits on Facebook, that doesn't automatically mean you are a psychopath," he said
If you are indeed a psychopath, and want to run for cover, the report adds tips for that too: Use first person, try to be normal, and don’t be a brag.
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