March 12, 2013, 10:35 AM — News flash: Your Facebook Likes reveal a lot more about you than simply what you like. They can indirectly reveal your age, race, politics, sexual preferences, proclivity towards substance abuse, and IQ.
At least, so say researchers at Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, which yesterday published the results of a massive study of Facebook users and their Likes. The stat geeks surveyed some 58,000 users of its Facebook app, myPersonality, which gave them access to all of their Likes. They then analyzed the results for patterns, compared them to what their users actually revealed in profiles and questionnaires, and correlated the two.
How accurate were they? Per the study:
Models proved 88% accurate for determining male sexuality, 95% accurate distinguishing African-American from Caucasian American and 85% accurate differentiating Republican from Democrat. Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82% of cases, and good prediction accuracy was achieved for relationship status and substance abuse – between 65 and 73%.
Some of the conclusions the researchers drew were, well, amusing:
* If you’re a male fan of the TV show “Glee,” you’re probably gay. Wow, that’s a shocker.
* If you’re confused after waking from a nap, you’re probably a straight male. And if you were dreaming about Glee during your nap, you’re probably deeply confused. (OK, I made that last one up.)
* If you’re a fan of the metal band Slayer and Under Armour sporting goods, you’re likely to also sport a nicotine addiction.
* If you like curly fries, Mozart, and thunderstorms, you’re probably smart. Big fan of Sephora makeup, Tyler Perry, and Harley Davidson bikes? Probably not. Hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t crunch these numbers.
* If you Like pages titled "Never Apologize For What You Feel It's Like Saying Sorry For Being Real" or "I'm The Type Of Girl Who Can Be So Hurt But Still Look At You & Smile" your parents probably split up before you left home. You’re probably also really annoying on a first date.
* If you like the Psychometrics Centre Facebook page, you’re probably a statistics geek with bad teeth.