What Your Facebook Likes Say About YouS

What are you revealing about yourself with your Facebook "likes"? A new study from the University of Cambridge shows that you might be disclosing more than just the obvious—and that the network of pages you "like" can be used to predict "potentially private traits such as a person's sexual orientation, political leanings, religion, intelligence, emotional stability and even if they abuse drugs or alcohol."

Using data—including IQ and personality tests—on 58,466 individuals, researchers were able to create a list of highly predictive Facebook pages—that is, Facebook pages that could be used to a high degree of accuracy to predict certain traits about the people who liked them.

While many of them are strong no-duhs, some are baffling: It might be obvious that men who "like" Kathy Griffin and women who "like" The L-Word are more likely to be gay—but it's way less obvious that men who "like" "Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps" and women who "like" Lipton Brisk are more likely to be straight.

Here are some of the most predictive pages. The researchers, who used a person's entire body of Facebook "likes" to build their predictive models, warn against "judging friends based on individual likes." But, you know, if you're not going to do that what's the point?

If you "like"...

  • Kathy Griffin
  • Juicy Couture
  • "Wicked The Musical"
  • No H8 Campaign
  • Mac Cosmetics
...you are more likely to be a gay man.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to be a gay woman.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to be a straight man.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to be a straight woman.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to have a high IQ
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to have a low IQ
If you "like"...
  • Beer pong
  • Chris Tucker
  • "I Feel Better Tan"
...you are more likely to be extroverted
If you "like"...
  • Role playing games
  • Anime
  • Voltaire
...you are more likely to be introverted.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to be neurotic.
If you "like"...
  • Business Administration
  • Skydiving
...you are more likely to be calm & relaxed.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to use drugs.
If you "like"... ...you are more likely to abstain.
You can look at the full list of "most predictive likes" in this PDF document. (Highly recommended for persual: "alcohol use" and "parents separated at 21.") The researchers have also set up a page where you can check what your "likes" might be saying about you, at YouAreWhatYouLike.com


[PNASCNN, USAT, LAT]