Psychological Targeting and Tailoring in Advertising

Michal Kosinski, Stanford University

A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, and gathering information, are now mediated by online social networks. Such activities can be easily recorded, offering an unprecedented opportunity to study and assess psychological traits using actual―rather than self-reported―behavior. In this presentation, Michal Kosinski shows that digital records of behavior, such as Tweets or Facebook Likes can be used to accurately measure a wide range of psychological traits. Such Big Data assessment has a number of advantages: it does not require participants’ active involvement; it can be easily and inexpensively applied to large populations; and it is relatively immune to cheating or misrepresentation. Furthermore, he will show that resulting psychological profiles can be used to optimize the targeting and tailoring of marketing communication. If the ethical challenges can be overcome, psychological assessment based on Big Data has the potential to revolutionize marketing.

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