Predicting Personality Traits, Gender and Psychopath Behavior of Twitter Users

Predicting Personality Traits, Gender and Psychopath Behavior of Twitter Users

Hasan Ali AL Akram (Department of Computer Science, University of Bahrain, Sakhir, Zallaq, Bahrain) and Amjad Mahmood (Department of Computer Science, University of Bahrain, Sakhir, Zallaq, Bahrain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijtd.2014040101

Abstract

Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are quickly becoming one of the most popular tools for social interaction and information exchange. Users of social networks reveal a lot about themselves in their public profiles, photos and status updates. While, social networks request users to create a truthful representation of themselves, they actually do so with a varying degree of accuracy. Depending on their privacy attitudes, the users may choose not to share details they find sensitive or tend to provide fake information. Contrary to a number of previous studies to predict the personality traits of the users of social networks primarily based on the users' profiles and other publically available information, this study provides an insight into the personality traits and psychopath behavior of twitter users by analyzing the tweets. The authors predict personality traits along the dimensions of “Big Five” personality model, gender and psychopath behavior of Twitter users. The paper discusses our data collection, gender, personality traits and psychopathic behavior prediction tool. It presents the analysis results of 327672 tweets of 345 users. The results show that there are more male users than the female users (70% male and 30% female). The results also show that majority of Twitter users are open to new ideas, are more agreeable and conscientious in nature but are less extravert. Out of 345 users, nine were indicating psychopath behavior and show less neuroticism. The authors also present a comparison of our personality traits' results with the results of two other similar studies.
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1. Introduction

In the past few years, people around the world found new ways to express and share their ideas on the Internet. Social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook and Twitter, are at the heart of online information transfer and social interaction (Bonds-Raacke & Raacke, 2010). Online social networking is a website where users enroll in and have their own space to post their thoughts, ideas and feelings and receive comments from other users. By expressing about their emotions, experiences and thoughts, users of SNS can better understand feelings and ideas of each other. In addition, social network sites satisfy the needs of being known, recognized and stay connected.

The users of SNS may also try to portray a good image of themselves. Goffman (1959) believes that when an individual comes in contact with other people, that individual will attempt to control or guide the impression that others might make of him by changing or fixing his or her setting, appearance and manner. According to Dominick (1999), when people are engaged in SNS communities, they use various self-presentation tactics (Jones, 1990) for gaining self-satisfactions. They use all the behavioral strategies and techniques in order to make, modify and maintain good images in the minds of others. For example, when a student is engaged in an educational community on SNS, he/she seeks self-satisfaction by portraying himself as the brightest students. The Twitter users have the opportunity to convey their best image by posting tweets and retweets to their followers.

Users of SNS are required to create their profiles in which they reveal a lot about themselves through self-description, status updates, photos, and interests. While, social networks request users to create a truthful representation of themselves, they actually do so with a varying degree of accuracy. It has been reported that the users of SNS, depending on their privacy attitudes, either choose not to share details they find sensitive or tend to provide fake information (Golbeck, Robles, Edmondson & Turner 2011).

It is believed by psychologists that words, phrases and texts are the keys to human thoughts, knowledge and behaviors. Over the years, scientists applied a statistical method called factor analysis (Thompson, 2004) for getting specific words related to personality assessment and trait descriptor. Based on findings of the factor analysis, the psychologists suggested that fine pattern of words reveal particular psychological characteristics of the writer (Hancock, Woodworth, & Porter, 2013). Examining language characteristics and linguistic styles of individuals to determine significant and specific social and psychological behavior such as depression, emotions, deception and speaker charisma have been extensively studied (Pennebaker & Graybeal, 2001; Oudeyer, 2002; Newman, Pennebaker, Berry & Richards, 2003; Rosenberg & Hirschberg, 2005). Furthermore, the research on personality models shows connections between general personality traits and many types of behavior. For example, relationships have been discovered between personality and psychological disorders (Matthews & Deary, 2003), job performance and satisfaction (Barrick & Mount, 1991) and even romantic success (Shaver & Brennan, 1992).

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