Tag Archives: like

Study: People act a lot like their dogs

We’ve all heard the old cliché that people look like their dogs.

But would it surprise you to learn that people and their dogs tend to socialize, eat and learn new skills in very similar ways, too?

According to the “Natural Balance Canine Personality Study” — a survey of 1,015 U.S. dog parents conducted by Natural Balance Pet Foods in conjunction with Learndipity Data Insights — Americans tend to love dogs who they perceive to be just like them.

PEOPLE CHOOSE
DOGS WHO ACT
JUST LIKE THEM

Sixty-six precent of extroverted people have extroverted dogs and there’s a 65 percent chance that an introverted dog will have an introverted human parent.
If you’re a choosy eater, your dog is three times more likely to be one as well.
If you identify as a lifelong learner, then there’s a 72 percent chance your dog will be good at learning new tricks.

DOGS DISPLAY
COMPLEX EMOTIONS, JUST LIKE WE DO

Dogs’ personalities are highly nuanced and pet parents believe that dogs experience many emotions that are all too familiar to humans.
If you’re hurt or late coming home, then you’re likely to believe, as 90 percent of all dog parents do, that your pup is worried about you.
Seventy-nine percent of dog owners say dogs can feel embarrassment and 93 percent are certain they’ve seen their dog smile.

DOGS STRONGLY INFLUENCE THE EMOTIONS OF THEIR HUMAN PARENTS

According to 79 percent of dog parents, their dogs consciously and actively attempt to comfort them.
Fifty-five percent report that their dog looks at them with loving eyes that communicate deep emotion.
Fifty-two percent say their dog is able to accurately sense when they are sad.

A billion users log into Facebook in 1 day

A billion people logged in to Facebook on a single day this past week, marking the first time that many members used the world’s largest online social network in a 24-hour period.

The number amounts to one-seventh of the Earth’s population.

The milestone, reached on Aug. 24, was mostly symbolic for Facebook, which boasts nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the network in his Harvard dorm room 11 years ago, reflected on the occasion with a post.

“`I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made,” he wrote. “Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.”

Facebook achieved 1 billion overall users in 2012, but this week’s milestone is perhaps more significant. It means the social network has become an essential service in many of our lives, a sort of online connective tissue that binds us to friends, family and even strangers who find themselves in similar circumstances. We need it daily, or more.

Facebook has long sought to connect everyone in the world with its service. A lofty goal, it’s not so different from the three other tech superpowers that are changing commerce, communication and worming their way into every part of our lives. Apple has its gadgets, Amazon delivers our every physical need and Google, well, when was the last time you went a day without Google?

(Google, incidentally, receives an average of 100 billion search requests per day, which makes it likely that more than a billion people use it daily.)

Most of the billion people who logged in to Facebook on Aug. 24 were outside the United States and Canada.

Of Facebook’s overall users, more than 83 percent come from other countries. In a video posted later in the week, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, mulled what a billion really means.

“Look closely, and you’ll see more than a number,” she said in the video, a montage showing Facebook users’ photos, posts and videos from all over the world. “It’s moms and little brothers and cousins and cousins of cousins. There’s Sam, Dante, Ingrid and Lawrence. It’s camping trips, religion … there’s likes, loves and unfortunately still some hate. Look past the number. You’ll find friendships.”

As it grows, Facebook’s next billions of members will likely come from outside the U.S., from India, South America, Africa and perhaps even China, where the site is officially blocked.

To help expand its flock, Facebook has been working to make its service easier to use on the basic, old-fashioned phones used in many parts of the world. It’s also working to get Internet access to the roughly two-thirds of the world’s population that is not yet connected — or about 5 billion people.

Two years ago, Facebook launched Internet.org, a partnership with other tech giants that aims to improve Internet connectivity around the world. The group’s plans include developing cheaper smartphones and tools that would reduce the amount of data required to run apps, as well as working with telecommunications companies to provide basic, free Internet services. The effort has received some criticism for putting Facebook in the position of Internet “gatekeeper,” deciding what sites people can access and going against the spirit of “net neutrality.”

Zuckerberg disagreed.

“Net neutrality ensures network operators don’t discriminate by limiting access to services you want to use. It’s an essential part of the open Internet, and we are fully committed to it,” he wrote in April. “To give more people access to the Internet, it is useful to offer some service for free. If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all.”

What you ‘like’ on Facebook can be surprisingly revealing

Clicking those friendly blue “like” buttons strewn across the Web may be doing more than marking you as a fan of Coca-Cola or Lady Gaga.

It could out you.

It might reveal how you vote.

It might suggest that you’re an unmarried introvert with a high IQ and a weakness for nicotine.

That’s the conclusion of a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers reported analyzing the likes of more than 58,000 U.S. Facebook users to make guesses about their personalities and behavior, and even whether they drank, smoked, or did drugs.

Cambridge University researcher David Stillwell, one of the study’s authors, said the results may come as a surprise.

“Your likes may be saying more about you than you realize,” he said.

Facebook launched its like button in 2009, and the small thumbs-up symbol has since become ubiquitous on the social network and common across the rest of the Web as well. Facebook said last year that roughly 2.7 billion new likes pour out onto the Internet every day – endorsing everything from pop stars to soda pop. That means an ever-expanding pool of data available to marketers, managers, and just about anyone else interested in users’ inner lives, especially those who aren’t careful about their privacy settings.

Stillwell and his colleagues scooped up a bucketful of that data in the way that many advertisers do –through apps. Millions of Facebook users have surveyed their own personal traits using applications including a program called myPersonality. Stillwell, as owner of the app, has received revenue from it, but declined to say how much.

The study zeroed in on the 58,466 U.S. test takers who had also volunteered access to their likes.

When researchers crunched the “like” data and compared their results to answers given in the personality test, patterns emerged in nearly every direction.

The study found that Facebook likes were linked to sexual orientation, gender, age, ethnicity, IQ, religion, politics and product use. The likes also mapped to relationship status, number of Facebook friends, as well as half a dozen different personality traits.

Some likes were more revealing than others. Researchers could guess whether users identified themselves as black or white 95 percent of the time. That success rate dropped to a still impressive 88 percent when trying to guess whether a male user was gay, and to 85 percent when telling Democrats from Republicans.

Identifying drug users was trickier – researchers got that right only 65 percent of the time, a result scientists generally describe as poor. Predicting whether a user was respectively a child of divorce was even dicier. With a 60 percent success rate, researchers were doing just slightly better than random guesses.

The linkages ranged from the self-evident to the surreal.

Men who liked TV song-and-dance sensation “Glee” were more likely to be gay. Men who liked professional wrestling were more likely to be straight. Drinking game aficionados were generally more outgoing than, say, fans of fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett. People who preferred pop diva Jennifer Lopez usually gathered more Facebook friends than those who favored the heavy metal sound of Iron Maiden.

Among the more poignant insights was the apparent preoccupation of children of divorce with relationship issues. For example, those who expressed support for statements such as “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” were slightly more likely to have seen their parents split before their 21st birthday.

Some of the patterns were difficult to understand: The link between curly fries and high IQ scores was particularly baffling.

Stillwell, designer of the myPersonality app, said revenue from it came from advertising. “I’d prefer not to say how much, but it wasn’t enough to live on,” he said.

Jennifer Golbeck, a University of Maryland computer scientist who wasn’t involved in the study but has done similar work, endorsed its methodology, calling it smart and straightforward and describing its results as “awesome.”

But she warned of what the work showed about privacy on Facebook.

“You may not want people to know your sexual orientation or may not want people to know about your drug use,” she said. “Even if you think you’re keeping your information private, we can learn a lot about you.”

Facebook said the study fell in line with years of research and was not particularly surprising.

“The prediction of personal attributes based on publicly accessible information, such as ZIP codes, choice of profession, or even preferred music, has been explored in the past,” Facebook’s Frederic Wolens said in a written statement.

Wolens said that Facebook users could change the privacy settings on their likes to put them beyond the reach of researchers, advertisers or nearly anyone else. But he declined to say how many users did so.

For the unknown number of users whose preferences are public, Stillwell had this advice: Look before you like.

The like button is “quite a seductive thing,” he said. “It’s all around the Web, it’s all around Facebook. And it’s so easy.”