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An Incisive New Quiz Scans Your Facebook Posts and Judges Your Personality

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology
June 11, 2014

The posts you’re sharing on Facebook may say more about you than you think.

A Berkeley-based startup called Five Labs released a tool on Tuesday that analyzes your language and personal information from Facebook and then spits out a map of the qualities that define who you are.

Aside from acting as a data-backed personality quiz of sorts, the tool sheds light on what advertisers might see when Facebook sells them your data. While the output of the tool is a fun glimpse at your traits, the quiz itself also provides an interesting look inside the way marketers can batch-skim your Facebook posts to better advertise  you.

Privacy worries aside, the tool finds and analyzes your writing style and the language in your Facebook status messages, and then sorts that data into five personality attributes: agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, “extraversion,” and openness. You can then compare your qualities to those of your fellow Facebook friends and also to the qualities of celebrities, like Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Here’s how to use it:

1. Go to the Five Labs website and click on Analyze My Posts.

2. From there, you’ll have to allow it to access your Facebook information. Allow it.

3. Then it’ll begin crunching your data.

4. Finally, you’ll be given your results. They resemble a small spider’s web.

5. You might not know what to make of them at first. What, for instance, does it mean to have 87% Openness? To learn more about each word, you can click on it. 

You’ll get a short explanation of what’s encompassed in the term, along with a bar graph that shows where you fall on the spectrum of some famous names. I am apparently less open than Jennifer Lawrence but more open than Mark Zuckerberg.

6. If you scroll down on a term page, you can see the words that the tool used from your posts to determine you have this trait.

Not exactly sure of the science behind the phrase “I’ll” signifying that you have an open character, but I am no linguist.

7. Back at your original results page, you’ll see a list of people below that are similarly matched in personality. Mouse over each one, and the percentage of match will pop up. Click on a person’s photo, and you can see their full results. Here’s my colleague Daniel Bean.

8. To see your results compared to a friend’s, click the green button in the upper right corner. Here’s the chart for me and my colleague Daniel Bean. We’re apparently 62% similar, which explains why we both like sea salt and chocolate KIND bars. Just kidding, that’s a coincidence.

9. Finally, you have the option to compare yourself to a small collection of famous minds, listed on the left side of your screen. Here’s the chart for Barack Obama and me:

He’s not nearly as neurotic as I am. That’s probably a good thing. For him, and for our country.

Follow Alyssa Bereznak on Twitter or  email her.