April 21, 2007

You just get me . . .

Now this looks interesting. I received this link through an email from the listserv for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. It's a social-networking site developed by social and personality psychologists as a tool for use by researchers interested in how well people can read each other's personalities.

"We know a ton about what people think of others, but hardly anything about whether they are right. In about a tenth of a second, people make up their minds whether others are likable and competent. But are they accurate? Not always. You can tell if someone is extraverted and disciplined quicker than if they are neurotic and competitive (Watson, 1989). Oddly, if you see someone's room or office, it helps you "get" them (Gosling, Ko, Mannarelli & Morris, 2002). And when you finally get close to someone, you are more accurate than when you were strangers, but few couples are ever perfect. How about online? Can you really judge what someone is like from their profile? And how about the other way around? Does your profile really tell people who you are? Research on this is only beginning (see Vazire & Gosling, 2004). Help us fill in this huge gap in our knowledge by trying - really trying - to guess what others are like. And see if you can make the most truthful profile you can. On our site, that's what it's all about."
Basically, it's a little online experiment where participants take a personality test (based upon the 5-factor theory of personality) and then they have to guess how each other scored on the test. All questions are scored using a real psychological formula too. As far as the "social-networking" is concerned, you can choose how accurate a person must be in guessing your personality before they can contact you.

It seems like a cool idea. I guess we'll see how it takes off.

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